I have ten minutes to write something before I receive another e-mail about Essay Fiesta, my new monthly, charitable reading series premiering at the Book Cellar Nov. 16. Become a fan on Facebook. Aaaaaaaand end plug.
Anywho, I was thinking about writing the other day, as I do everyday, so it was really just a day, which nullifies this sentence entirely. Jesus, I’m wasting valuable typing time! TEN MINUTES!
Okay. Breath. I realized the other day how, for me, my perspective on writing has progressed in the same manner as my opinion of parsley has. Yes, I’m trying to tie two unlike things together, making an association that is both humorous and personally true. But this isn’t a forced partnership. No. Parsley and writing really have shared strange and otherworldly connections for me, connections where both began as unsubstantial decor that colored my life and my plate and eventually grew to eclipse my very being and/or palate. But I’m getting ahead of myself. So let me catch up.
When I was young and but a wee lad from the humid plains of the outer-eastside of a little known village known as Dallas, I had large hoop dreams of one day becoming an electrical engineer. “I want to build microchips, Mommie!” I’d say, high on a love for cutting-edge technology and computer cleaner. I would sit and program in C++ until I tired my nerdy little brain out, and it had to sleep (or defragment for you fellow geeks). Why for fun I once made a math tutorial program that, due to incredible foresight on my part, had the added built-in safety of never accidentally dividing a number by 0, a feat that if accomplished could very well suck the Earth into itself like some kind of flexible dog sniffing its own butt. Because I was that uncool, that math-minded, that much of a techno-geek when I was little. But really, none of this was what I ever really wanted.
Writing, that trivial and tedious task, I thought. Don’t get me wrong. I love it. If masturbation was a way for me to pleasure my body, writing was a way for me to pleasure my brain. But there was no career path, no end goal, no purpose in this thing that required so much sitting still and complaining. To me, it was merely a deviation from Intel Pentium Processor dreams, something I could do on my downtime in between smashing atoms and voyaging to the nether regions of both space and time. It was the garnish to the entree that was my life.
Which brings us to parsley, that green, leafy stuff that they give you with a wedge of lemon that one time a year you swallow your pride and make a trip for Lobster Fest at Red Lobster. By the way, Lobster Fest is NOT a federally recognized holiday (but it should be). Parsley, that close relative of the much tangier and prettier leafy green, cilantro. Cilantro you hot attractive chick who gets asked out by all the bad boys with pompadours and motorcycles. Parsley, that frumpy girl you try to erase from your memory like a dream of a reality of your uncle massaging your shoulders in a sauna. Oh, parsley. I didn’t understand you, and if I ever tried to touch you, to nibble your leafy ends, I’d quickly make a prune face and spit, spit you out upon the table or worse, the floor. But oh, how the times do change.
For where both writing and parsley were always relegated to the sidelines, like me in nearly every sport I ever played ever, I have since realized how central these things can be in my life, if I just learn to understand them and accept them. Writing is not a stupid career choice. In fact, it is admirable, and it is hard. But I love it. And although I’m currently making my money by tap dancing for big corporations, it’s keeping my instincts sharp and my wallet not empty, all of which is allowing me to write what I want to write with the hope that the great literary agent in the sky will one day rain gold deblumes down on me in a sign of complete and sweet validation. Likewise, I have learned to cook with parsley, making such delicious delicacies as tabbouleh and a mustardy potatoe salad that simply is to die for (bacon optional for you sons and daughters of David).
So yes, let it be known, that although you may think something is just for fun or a garnish to your otherwise fulfilling and perfect life, it may actually be the missing piece of the puzzle, that herb that completes the soup. And when you discover that, your life will be that much more flavorful.