banana pancakes

The alarm rang off at 6:00 a.m. I slowly cracked out of my paralyzed lying-position and a few minutes later rose out of bed. This time was early for me, these days. I staggered down the tight hallway and veered left into the kitchen. It was Valentine’s Day, and I ran across town yesterday, scooping up breakfast items and other holiday treats. Porter would be rising in an hour, maybe later, therefore, I better get moving.

The day before I gathered strawberries, pancake mix, bananas, chocolate chips, eggs, sausage, potatoes, orange juice and champagne. This meal wasn’t going to be just breakfast, but a downright feast. Disclaimer: I have no experience making pancakes. Yet, I provided myself with some extra time for a trial run, however, the process turned out to be just as straightforward as the directions on the side of the box.

Nearing 7, the sausage was sizzling, the pancakes were browning, and the home-fries were almost touching a crisp. Then I overhead Porter’s door squeak open and her footsteps pounce down the hall.

“Hey!” I said. “You shouldn’t be seeing this.”

“Are you making breakfast?” She asked. “I woke up early to go out and get you bagels.”

So we were both holding our plans under wraps, but we settled on the grandiose amount of food I already bought. Porter joined me in the kitchen, and I turned up some Bob Dylan to jumpstart our morning. Then I popped open the champagne at roughly 7:10 and mixed up some mimosas.

It’s not frequent we devour large meals to kick off our days. We soon hit our limitations not long after we sat down and ate. Valentine’s Day, like many other holidays, has transformed into a consumer holiday, capitalizing on the love and care between individuals. Although I do feel corporations and companies exploit the customers by jacking up the prices on these days, I nonetheless advance with the orchid purchases and dinner celebrations. It’s an addition to the recognition of the love shared.

We all have lives to carry out, outside of our relationships, and sometimes we become entrapped in our day-to-day affairs. I feel these holidays, allow people to intently focus on the special people in their lives, even if it’s just for a special meal in the morning or at night. It’s a tribute of gratitude to them, by simply acknowledging what you deeply feel for the other. It’s a more open opportunity to be vulnerable and express honest feelings; not that they can’t be displayed on any other day, but holidays are a marked period of reflection.

Porter and I scraped up our plates and stored away the leftovers. She had to get moving, so I proceeded with cleaning up the dishes. We arranged to meet in Chinatown after work to grab some noodles and wine. Holidays are also a time for eating well.



Time Off

“If you’re gonna take a picture of me, at least take it from my good side.” The park-security employee shouted from across the parking lot.

I dropped my board to the surface and skated over towards him. This man was gazing out at the trees and sporadically back at his computer screen. He was on break–just trying to recuperate before a call came in. He said the hours were long–real long–and he only had one day off around the holidays.

“I’ll take it, though. Better than nothing.” He confessed.

I sympathized with him, though I concealed that I’ve been on an extended holiday for quite some time, because of my unemployment. I hastily snapped a few pictures–with his permission–and wished him happy holidays. Then, I pushed off and cruised down the trail on my board.

Receiving unemployment has been a blessing, of course because of the monetary aspect, but because that correlates to added time to allow me to redirect my life. I was aiming unconsciously down a no-outlet street. At some point, I would be forced to turn around, so it was better I u-turned earlier than later. Now, I’m veering off down a road of uncertainty, but at least it can direct me to other places.

Before I trek off in January, it’s important to savor these final two weeks: quality time spent with my family and friends. Needless to say, that’s the underlying meaning of the holidays, and for a majority of people, these are some of the few days they receive off in the year. Therefore, slow down, listen to their stories, exchange gifts, and laugh. It means a lot for everyone.