The other day I cooked two chicken breasts for lunch. I had a salad all prepared and I was ready to garnish it with some cheese, some cucumbers and some free range fowl. I wanted to save one of the chickens for later, so I cut one up and started to put it in a tupperware container. As I did this, the tupperware starts to fall with the freshly seasoned chicken in it. To the ground, and onto the floor it went…. White meat face down on the linoleum. Fuck. My. Life.
There on the floor was my $3.00 chicken breast, my meal for tomorrow, and my dignity. I saw what was happening before it happened and I just couldn’t stop it. I looked down at the ruined chicken which was now spread across my semi-dirty kitchen floor and it angered me. It made me irritated and disgruntled, and then…I freaked out.
I grabbed the tupperware container and threw it against the window. It bounced back and hit me in the jaw. Oh the irony. It’s not enough that my lunch was ruined, but now I was literally slapped in the face by my own polyethylene frustration. At this point I had enough of throwing plastic against the wall so I threw a small frying pan instead. It hit the glass, made a resounding crash, and the window shattered into a hundred pieces which flew all over the kitchen counter top, and possibly into the salad I was about to eat for lunch.
I was pissed, I was annoyed, but in some strange way, I was also relieved. After I spent the next 20 minutes picking out shards of glass from my sink and windowsill, I sat down and started to eat what was left of my salad. I didn’t get very far for fear of there being sharp glass hiding in with my romaine lettuce, blue cheese, and bacon salad, topped with the Olive Garden’s signature Italian dressing. I ate some of the chicken, threw the rest of the salad away, and I reflected on what just happened.
As the summer heat wafted into my apartment through my newly found air space, I stared at the huge hole in my window for a moment, then I went and found some cardboard to cover it up. I hadn’t broken anything in years. Way back when I was a kid I used to punch holes in the walls when I got frustrated, but I’m an adult now, and I don’t do things like that when I get upset….or so I thought. I’ve been pretty much aggravated with my life this summer. I haven’t gotten what I wanted, I’m still annoyed with where I’m at, and I guess a shattered window in my kitchen perfectly represents my soul….broken and scattered into many pieces.
God, I’m so dramatic, I know this. In the words of Joey Cape, “I will never fail drama.” It will always be one of my best subjects in life. Sometimes it makes for good stories and it fuels the fire I have inside of me and I can wield it like a superhero. Other times, it sucks me in and I allow it to make me bitter and hateful, but I’m getting past that now.
I think about that window a lot, and I think about what it represents to me. Why did I do something so destructive just because some chicken fell on the floor? Was it the chicken, or the cheap IKEA plastic container I was trying to put it in. No, it was neither. As much as I tried to blame the awkward set-up of my cutting board being so close to the refrigerator door, that wasn’t it at all.
I lost it. I fucking took my frustrations out on an inanimate object and I take responsibility for it all. I broke a window in my apartment and I don’t really care that I did it because a part of me felt better after it had happened. The dissatisfaction with my life had been building up all summer and it actually felt good to break something. It happens. I remember looking at the window right after I broke it and I thought to myself… Man, you’re probably not getting your security deposit back now.
Look, I know I have a long way to go until I can look back on this time in my life and realize I’ve learned something from it, but I’m a better person for having gone through this. When it comes down to it, I didn’t get drunk and then drive somewhere only to crash my car. I didn’t yell at some unsuspecting person on the street who didn’t deserve it, and I didn’t self destruct to the point where I regret the actions that brought me to where I am.
I’m never going to look at that window and be pissed at what happened. I don’t regret it. Maybe a part of me thinks it was therapeutic for me to do that. From now on, I’m going to remember not to overreact when stupid things happen, cause I know more stupid things are going to happen in my life. I’m going to remember to make sure the surface I put my tupperware on is flat and has no way of falling to the ground, and I’m going to think about new ways to let my melodramatic tragedies turn into a text book comedy because when it comes down to it, I only have two other windows in my place and just like my spirit, I need for them to remain unbroken.
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