“ There is no worse lie than a truth misunderstood by those who hear it. ”
— William James
Remember when riding your bike sans hands was the ultimate declaration of control, balance and determination? No? Maybe it was just me. I remember my bicycle, laden with sparkly pink tassles billowing from the handlebars and bright white tires. The neighborhood cul-de-sac was my hamster wheel. If only I could master the suitable speed, the accurate angle and the required rhythm; I could let go of the bars. I eventually conquered that cul-de-sac. Although, ever since, I feel like I’ve been trying to conquer the cul-de-sac in every neighborhood my life has brought me to, however brief the stay. At times I’ve had great success. At times my gears got stuck, my tires went flat or my seat needed to be readjusted. I’m still on the same bike, we all are. It’s not the same pink one I had as a child, or the same neighborhood I grew to know like the back of my hand, but in some shape or form, that bike becomes your life. How you maneuver it, maintain it and manage it determines everything. At times I’ve tried to let go of the handlebars when I thought I was ready, only to find out that I needed more time. At times when going down hill I’ve forgotten how to apply the brakes. At times a slight moment of indecisiveness caused an accident. The truth is, I’m still learning how to ride that thing and I don’t think we ever stop learning; and yes, training wheels aren’t so bad after all.
I recently witnessed the thought process of one of my cats and was privileged enough to capture each moment with my iPhone. Please excuse the poor image quality, but click here if you’d like to behold the organization, paranoia and ownership felt by one feline in the course of 10 minutes.
After a day of obliterating paper entrails, downing black and tans and pondering the creative works of others- It was time to sit down and summarize what this day was truly about: the art of concealment. The military may or may not be the first to tell you that concealment is not a science, but an art; adapted from artists’ mastery of structure, perspective and a keen ability to manipulate the two into a separate dimension of deception. Camouflage grants us the ability to hide in plain sight. Used by the earliest inhabitants of this planet as the simple application of mud, its remained forever ingrained in human chromosomes to retain a semblance of dissimulation. A guise, or smokescreen that hides true ambitions and blurs the lines between chicanery and actuality. A tactic for survival. Like the stripes on a zebra that impede the lioness’ ability to determine which end is neck and which end is butt– In war, it’s the same. In love, no different.
See, I find meaning in everything. And a trip to Moe’s, where I can gorge on a neatly wrapped cornucopia of ingredients (of my choosing) actually does a lot more than satiate my hunger for a wholesome meal. Every bite is my escape. Every fresh jalapeno reminds me of a feat I’ve conquered or a checkmate I’ve circumvented. Every spicy morsel of freshly chopped green splendor reminds me of the delightfully challenging obligations I have ahead of me… Of which the muscle relaxer from the night prior lacked the moxie to subdue any pain derived from the stresses of facing such challenges.
However, inside this methodically sealed tortilla, lie even more ingredients–an endless pile of rice. Each grain representing a moment of despair. Have you got it all under control? You keep those grains tightly wrapped, tucking in the rogues, never letting them escape you. After all, just like that moment of melancholy, if you can keep from unraveling–the rest of the burrito will maintain its shape.
Sour cream. Despite its allusion to something ‘spoiled’, this is the saving grace. A soft, white retardant–cloaking the fires you may or may not have set yourself… Lessening the burn and neutralizing the acidity that keeps you up at night. This is the one ingredient that keeps you from reheating your burrito and reliving the heat that should only be experienced once, albeit necessary.
The nemesis. Chicken, beef or tofu? Figures mine would be the only one that could fly away when I’m finally closing in on it. Yes, my goddess of divine retribution. Resolved, accomplished and astute. All the things I wish I could be. As I devour every bit of this metaphor, I wonder if I can absorb its attributes–just by mere consumption.
The black bean is responsible for my mind’s flatulence. The idea I should have thought up first. The comeback I thought of an hour later, while laboriously recounting a picayune exchange from earlier that day. I lament over every minuscule bean.
This is my burrito of life—er, maybe of the week. Regardless, this aesthetically pleasing repository of a never ending Monday through Friday finds its home in the bowels that will digest and gain experience from every kilocalorie that plagued me the days before.
Then the question begs to be answered: At the end of the day, did you consume the burrito–or did the burrito consume you?