Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Nissin Bowl Noodles Hot & Spicy upgraded
I didn't really have high hopes for this lunch, but we had some leftover roasted chicken, the kind you get out of that weird lit-up glass warming cabinet at the grocery store, so I brought a fistful of it in a Ziploc bag to add to this bowl of noodle soup my daughter dared me to get during our last grocery trip. She takes perverse pleasure in the idea of me eating something too spicy; you should see her squeal with delight when I bite into a jalapeno.
As I was preparing it (putting it in the microwave), which included unceremoniously filling the flimsy container to the fill line with water from the bathroom because the tiny kitchen on this floor doesn't have a sink, and was drooping in pieces of shredded chicken from a Ziploc bag, I felt that twinge of overwhelming office dread. This is what it has come to. Soon I would be like the old men with whom my wife used to work, bringing washed-out peanut butter jars of milk from home and priding themselves on using the same lunch bag over and over until it was thin as a mucous membrane.
I looked up and caught myself in the mirror; there is a mirror on the kitchen's opposite wall which otherwise is covered with hopelessly dated, hyperfloral wallpaper, and my image repeated into infinity, a vortex into which I was now falling, or perhaps, one from which the current me was being projected. I didn't like it a bit and nearly abandoned the whole thing, but the bell on the microwave dinged, and a carried my soggy, hot bowl of fate back to my desk down the hall in careful manner in which I expect a suicide bomber handles his or her bomb, cautious to make sure it doesn't go off prematurely and make the whole exercise an undeniable waste of time.
I stir it, thinking it would only serve to stink up my office were I to slide it into the trash can directly below it under the desk, plus it would likely splash all over my new shirt, so I took a bite, and boom! It was delicious. Like not just ramen lunch delicious, but actually delicious. The introduction of actual food into the complex array of flavor packets, dried noodles and bathroom water transformed it into a succulent feast that I devoured with such ardor that I didn't even manage to get a photo. It's not the best lunch I've had up here, but it leapt furthest from expectation to delivery. I expect there is a lesson in all this.