I had some kim chee fried rice in the fridge, brought home from an asian fusion restaurant I will go to multiple days in a row. It was exciting at first, knowing that it was in there, the thickly spiced cabbage fried with perfectly al dente rice, hard to to the tooth, as I like it.
I made lots of food plans. I would have whipped some eggs with a bit of cold water, heated up a frying pan with a thin layer of oil, cooking a pale yellow skin to hold the rice in a warm embrace. These rice omelets are the stuff I grew up on, afterschool treats and Saturday lunches, moments when my mother or my grandmother had some time to care for me, in between the intense crush of their jobs and complicated immigrant lives.
My life is complicated too, but in different ways, and I have little time to cook or even eat, which ravages my waist even more than stuffing myself. Not eating is way fattening for whatever reason. It always has been with me. The less I eat, the more of me there is. The more I eat, the slimmer I become. I wanted that rice omelet but it never happened, and the kim chee rice aged poorly in the uneven cold of the fridge.
Cabbage rots and emits a gas, and that permeated the entire ecosystem of the refrigerator. The sumptuous wheels of brie and gouda suffered from the proximity of the leftovers. Every time I opened the fridge to get a Whynatte, I would get a sulphurous punch in the face. The decay was hanging in the air around the kitchen like a cloud, a wet rain of funk, soaking everything.
I held on to the dream of the rice omelet, even though it was surely stillborn. I thought that it was going to happen, that even though it smelled like shit, it wouldn’t taste like it. I thought I would have time in the near future. As I slept, my dream self broke open eggs and heated pans. My real self never got that far.
Finally, in the middle of the night, I couldn’t take it anymore. I padded out to the kitchen pulled the offensive container out of the fridge. Like a sleepwalker I crept heavy and somnabulent down the hallway to the trash chute. I threw the rotting kim chee rice in its box down many floors, into the abyss, but the smell still hangs on, haunting my home as if it never left.