Saturday night, as I stood in Leslie's laundry room, rinsing barfy particles off Olivia's princess sheets, I decided I'd post a recently rejected submission. I'm not sure if it was the sour smell of regurgitated Five Guys or the need to feel some love from my peeps, but as I flushed the last piece of up-chucked ground-chuck down the drain, I resolved to make it so.
The submission guideline was to write a love letter or rejection letter, 750 words or less. The prize was $250 to spend at the host's online store and a subscription to a mediocre magazine. Meaning, I didn't do it for the prize. The winning submission had typos and poorly constructed sentences, something that led me to eat an entire sleeve of Thin Mints and then wash it down with a bottle of La Crema. Good times.
Listen, it isn’t working. No, hear me out. Every time I plug the toaster in, nothing happens. The coils stay black and the metal remains cold. No matter what I do, it isn’t turning on. I’ve had to spend fifteen minutes every morning browning the stupid bread in the broiler. While it works just fine, I really miss the convenience of the toaster.
And it isn’t you, it’s me. I’m the one who yanked the cord too hard. As you shuffled past, a coffee mug pressed to your mouth and your eyes scanning the newspaper headlines, I gave a firm tug. I was standing to the side. I was pulling at an angle. The prongs bent, curling like a candy cane. I’m not pointing the finger. I’m simply making a point. And it’s valid, with one exception.
I think we both know the timing is all wrong. The economy is in the tank. And lord knows if I’ll have a job after the next round of layoffs. As much I would love to own a four-slot, die-cast, Breville toaster, it isn’t in the cards. I know with certainty because last night, instead of running numbers for work, I scoured the internet for one under a hundred bucks. I came up with nothing. So since money’s tight, I guess the broiler will have to do. Or will it? Which got me thinking.
Where is this going? This morning, when I sat down on the sofa, a plate on my lap and buttered toast in my hand, I stared out at the room, the world, and questioned if what we’re doing really makes sense. Can I spend the rest of my life relying on a broiler to make toast? Can I spend the rest of my life wasting valuable time on something that doesn’t make me happy? I thought about this so long that my toast got cold. The butter hardened. I had no choice but to get up and reheat the broiler. I also had no choice but to sit down and write this letter.
John, sweet John, I’m writing this note to let you know I’m gone. And please don’t bother calling because I won’t answer. How can I? The manager at Williams-Sonoma would surely find it unprofessional for me to answer a personal call during an interview. Yes, enough was enough. I’m out getting a second job. And I’m buying that damn toaster. I figure it makes sense as long as I get it with an employee discount.
So that’s that. Dinner’s in the fridge. Just nuke it for two minutes. And think of me as you sit down at the table, alone with Baxter curled up at your feet. Know that I’m not there because I love you. I’m not there because I love you longer than the days and deeper than the ocean. I even love you more than sky-high piles of bread perfectly browned in a gourmet toaster. You may not believe me now but you will tomorrow morning when I bring you breakfast in bed – eggie on toast, your favorite.
Hugs and Kisses,