This is not a long post. I am typing with one hand because 3 of the fingers on my other hand are burnt after I tried to pick up the pot top that had somehow, in a bizarre moment of impossible physics, inverted itself while I attempted to pour popcorn kernels into sizzling oil. Now I grip a cold can of beer because it is the only thing that is truly cold in my house–besides ice cubes, which Dennis says are strictly forbidden (something about freezing nerve ends or something)–and will need to trade it for another one shortly. Unfortunately, the water here is either air temperature or warmer, so I cannot keep my hand under the tap and have it do any good. We do not have the luxury of very cold water like you all have up North. Therefore, to heal my painful wounds, I am resigned to rotating cans of beer between my left hand and and the refrigerator shelf, and using towels I have soaked in water and then placed in my freezer. Ouch.
Like any true English teacher and writer, however, I turn to Literature to help me place this experience along the continuum of Life and so, of course, I think of the novel I finished today, The English Patient. It is about a man burned so badly in a plane crash that his skin is charred black and he needs morphine to deal with the pain. Well, it’s actually about way more than that, but clearly my mind is on burn victims right now. There is black on my thumb, but I don’t know where it came from. The only thing I can think of is that it is a remnant of the popcorn oil, and that makes me associate pain with popcorn, and that troubles me a great deal.
Just like there’s “no crying in baseball,” there should be no pain in popcorn.