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Human kebab

I finally figured out what my problem is. It’s not, as many people have suggested in the past, my slavering ego or my complete lack of a sense of urgency, but a total denial of the dangers of everyday life. I tend to forget that items with which I’m intimately familiar can still hurt me a great deal; pain lurks around the corners of the mundane like a mugger. I collect minor injuries like some people collect stamps or rare butterflies – that is to say, with an all-consuming passion. My motor-cortex is on autopilot near 100 percent of the time, and not a day goes by without a moment when the control panel starts flashing red and sirens sound, jerking my conscious mind out of daydreams in order to deal with the dripping wound I’ve just inflicted upon myself. Last night, however, was especially horrible.

I’m just completely fearless about any object in my apartment, and this category woefully includes boiling olive oil. Frying some chicken tenderloins in the same last night, I underestimated the temperature when dropping one of the strips to its sizzling demise and paid the price. Oil splashed up onto my left hand and forearm, cooking my dermis just as surely as the chicken.

Burns are strange injuries, because they never hurt very much when they happen, but turn the site into a nexus of pain about an hour later. I was exceedingly calm as the oil sizzled on my skin, ever mindful of keeping hold of the pan and its succulent contents. Marta watched the liquid spread over the webbing between my thumb and forefinger and immediately turned the faucet onto cold. I soaked my hand for a good five minutes, cursing at my own stupidity the whole time, then decided that further immersion would only consume time better spent finishing the chicken. I iced the angry red area with a cold Henry’s as I prodded the food with a spatula, suddenly full of respect for fire and man’s folly.

During dinner, I was in agony. I retrieved a package of frozen corn from the freezer and pressed it onto the burn periodically, which helped, but my pain neurons resumed their urgent clamor moments after removing it. Today I’ve got four healthy-sized burn blisters which burst at inconvenient times during work, but at least they don’t hurt anymore.

On the bright side, dinner was amazing. The chicken was delicious, and the hybrid noodle-lettuce salad Marta and Laurel made was tasty as well. The best part was the corn on the cob, which we prepared on the barbecue. The trick is to remove all but the innermost layer of husk and cook over medium heat for around half an hour. Each kernel was so sweet and juicy that each one bursting between my teeth was like an orgasm. Every now and then I had to stall my efforts to get the corn inside me as fast as possible to apply the other corn, the bagged, frozen variety, to my burn, but even given that it was awesome.

Posted in Musings.


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