Lately I've been repeatedly hearing everything being compared to an onion. Love is like an onion, because it has many layers and it can make you cry. And it can stink. Truth is like an onion. The presidential election? Onion. Big Macs? Onion. Difficult choice? Onion. Since hearing this, I can't help but walk through my days, comparing various aspects of my life to the gas-inducing staple of American cooking.
Comparing my life to an onion simplifies things a bit. Take preparation for my Vantasy, which is slated to begin on August 24th. There have been lists, erased lists, relisted lists, unlisted lists, and things that defy listing. Then there are errands combined with ever-changing lists of how to run 'em. Nothing can be accomplished in one step, and entire days are spent running around, getting nothing done. For example,
Get bike rack
1. Call guy from craigslist about $25 hitch-mounted bike rack.
2. Wait for guy to call back and tell you it has already been sold.
3. Look again on craigslist, find another bike rack that is cheaper than new, but not cheap enough to merit dealing with a potentially creepy craigslist user.
4. Decide that going to "Rack Attack" to buy a new bike rack is a better, though more expensive, option.
5. Go to Rack Attack, and think about how the name reminds me of those girls with the lethal boobs in Austin Powers.
6. Discover that spare tire is in the way, and hitch-mounted bike rack won't fit.
7. Leave Rack Attack without bike rack.
8. Consider ladder-mounted bike rack, do internet research and discover that they are pieces of shit.
9. Drive around in confusion for two days and decide to strap spare tire to the roof, so hitch-mounted bike rack will fit.
9. Buy straps and a cover for the spare tire.
10. Return to "Rack Attack" for hitch-mounted bike rack and pinlock.
11. Decide that it totally would have been worth it to just get that one that I saw on craigslist a week ago, but at least it's done now.
12. Install tire on roof, and rack on van. Cry because it's hard. Hope that neither fall off.
Spending my days running around, trying to get my van ready often leaves me in a heap on the floor, trying not to cry, terrified that if I can't even prepare for my trip, I'll never have what it takes to actually go. I stare at my take-out burrito from the place across the street that I only go to in the case of total meltdown food emergency, and my stomach turns with that special brand of anxiety reserved for the totally overwhelmed. I have a shattered window, a gas tank malfunction, a broken refrigerator, a leaking valve near the water heater which sprays water all over the van floor, an apartment to move out of, a couch to get rid of, friends to say bye to, things to take to Goodwill, and I'm still not sure if the roof leak is fixed.
And just when I'm about to cry, I think of the onion. Comparing the bazillion things I have to do to the layers of an onion somehow makes them more benign. It's okay if it makes me cry; I'll just start peeling one layer at a time.
And if that doesn't work, I'll make a damn stir fry.