Banana Blueberry Muffins.

I feel like I’ve been whacked across the head by one of those cartoon mallets, birds and stars circling my head. Overwhelmed by schedule rotations, due dates and the expectation that by this point, I’m supposed to have a handle on what the fuck I’m supposed to be doing. I was sitting in one of my journalism classes on Tuesday trying to listen, write, comprehend, apply, watch, learn and breathe all at the same time. The prof glanced at the clock and called for a 10-minute break. I put my head down on my computer keyboard and closed my eyes. For some reason, my mind flashed to a day I spent in a Café Passcucci in the heart of Seoul. It had been a Saturday and I had risen around 6, and crawled onto the 5100 bus. I needed to feel the city, escape, and be alone. I took the subway straight to Meyongdong, and by the time I came out of exit 6 the streets were already alive. They smelled the way so many streets in Seoul did; of coffee, garbage, baking bread and plastic. I sat in that coffee shop for almost 6 hours, sipping hazelnut cappuccinos and water, eating nothing but ice and foam. I wrote and read and sat and stared and wished I were home. The image of that day was so sharp in my mind, I could almost taste the coffee, hear snatches of Big Bang and Jewelry playing in the background and the muffled sounds of the streets below. I sat up with a start and looked around. My classmates trickling back into the room laden with snacks and drinks. Kelsey and Blair and Jimmy took their seats on either side of me and Blair placed a coffee in front of me. Your favorite, he smiled, hazelnut cream. I shook my head back into the present, reeling. I’m still not sure when or how I got here sometimes. Threads from the past weaving into the fabric of now….I’m getting fucking old.

Rehearsals for Closer are in full swing. There are no words to express the gratitude and privilege I feel. To stretch and move across a stage and feel the script like a loaded weapon in my hand. To lift the words from the page and roll them in my mouth like chocolate covered cherries. To watch and feel my spirit meld with those I share the space with and something beautiful and unique emerge. Art. Is there anything on earth as beautiful? Words and voices, boxes and bodies….passion. I feel whole again.

Today I got up early.
Peanut butter and banana on my bagel and the rich flavor of coffee. My sister is staying with me right now and I love waking up with her there. My tiny one bedroom somehow fits her and I together in a way that surprises me. Cramped, with bare walls and way too much fucking junk…yet somehow….cozy.

Anyone who knows me knows I can’t bake. It’s not that I don’t bake. I can’t bake. Ask Drae or Cindy about the “Cupcake Incident”. We’re still all recovering. There was also the apple cobbler episode in university, the chocolate cake catastrophe my mom still hasn’t forgiven me for and that time I thought chocolate chip cookies were a good idea. Bad news bears. I’ve tried. But chemistry is not my forte. As so brilliantly demonstrated in the succession of awesome relationships I’ve managed to fuck up in some way shape or form during my past 15 years of dating.

Making the same mistakes over and over again is part of what makes being human suck so very very much at times. But we all do it. In our careers or lack thereof, in the relationships we choose to pursue, romantic or otherwise. These were the thoughts flashing through my mind when, instead of doing the homework I was supposed to get done before heading off to rehearsal, I somehow found myself in my kitchen up to my elbows in flour and sugar substitute. I bent the handle of the fork I was using to mash the goopy brown bananas and slammed my fist into the liquefied fruit. I dropped 2 eggs onto the floor and cracked the shells of 3 more into the batter by mistake before finally getting it right. Banana pulp somehow ended up in my hair, flour on my arms, milk down the front of my pants. I aerosol-ed my face with the oil spray trying to grease the muffin tins. Burned my hand pulling them out of the oven.

They were the best banana blueberry muffins I think I’ve ever had. I ate 2 right away and stashed four in my bag to keep me going during my 6-hour rehearsal. I left the rest on the counter for when I got home.

It’s quite the feeling. When you get something right. Especially when you’ve screwed up so many times before.

Hmmmmmmmmm……..

Comments

Vivian said…
Aw, Steph, this was so perfect. And I love knowing exactly which Pascucci café you're talking about... which subway exit... which bus... and the smells. I know...!!!

Glad to read about everything. You sound happy.
vagabondshandi said…
Nice post. You really should be a journalist! And thanks, that part about me was very sweet.
Sausan said…
Haha! Your potato stir fry was so amazing that I would have thought you to be a baking guru as well!
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