The crackhead cook on youtube

When I was 9 I smoked a cigarette with Susan B. and loved it so much I took up the habit the only way a nine year old can with no means. If I was at Susan B.’s on a Saturday, she had the cigarettes, and I smoked them. I loved them so much that it made me pause. I didn’t live in the suburbs; I lived in what people from the suburbs call “the inner city” and in the “inner city” they showed you a video every couple of months about what a nearly perfectly good person looks like before drugs and what their sorry self looks like after. They put up posters of chain smoking grandmothers no older than 35 and with no teeth to make the message clear–if you start smoking now, tomorrow nobody is going to be looking for you and your needle in the gutter. There won’t be a desk for you in the fifth grade, because you won’t be needing one. I took it to heart and crushed out my last cigarette and a career as an addict. I never, not one time after that took a puff or a pill or a hit of anything. I can safely say I was the biggest prude going and would be the last person you would want to ask advice for about cooking up some crack.
When I was a senior in high school I wore my hair long and skinny no name jeans that I bought with the money I’d been making since I was 12 babysitting other people’s children and cleaning their houses in that way that you can when you’re not allowed out on a Saturday until you need dark glasses to dull the shine coming up off of the toilets and the floors.
I woke up at 5 o’clock to do my homework, went downstairs to make my breakfast and pack my lunch and was at school by 7:15 to do more homework, shoot the breeze with Nilsa and pray that Jacques from Portugal would walk past me in a hallway so that I could lock my vision on a wall, internally hyperventilate with undying love and become mute in a panic that he might say something that required a response. By one I was on a bus to work slapping out frozen yogurts with enough toppings to get skin and bone secretaries through to dinner and then I was back on a bus to ballet where I would dance until it was time to get home before it was too late to go to bed. Funny enough, if I forgot myself and didn’t walk a straight line with my eyes on the floor when I made my way into the cafeteria but got carried away with the freedom of life in that moment of no more latin, no more algebra, no more english literature for 22 minutes and my body fell into the chasse` that I did over and over and over on any given night on sweaty linoleum in front of a fogged mirror to whatever was being banged out on the the piano after after serving yogurt and before bed BUT NOT IN A CAFETERIA, I would inevitably hear, “Are You on Drugs?” from an ever present Greek chorus at the ready to notice things like that and if your socks matched.
So funny enough there is a video now on youtube of “cook on crack” and it’s me. Not on crack at all actually.
Still not drugs. Just a mother and a cook and a wife with a will to live without looking at the floor. All of this does make me think of that one poster that they also hung up with the fried egg.
I like my fried eggs crispy on the outside and runny on the inside. Especially over perfectly poached asparagus all silky with Irish butter and a shower of sea salt still grey with specks of unknown but entirely acceptable bits.

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