An Ode to My Condiment Drawer

It was like an avant garde art installation in my apartment fridge.

It was generally a toss-up between three things, what women would judge the most, on the semi-rare occasion that one entered my apartment during my three-yaar stint there (and I guess we can say four things if they happened to see my naked body, though they didn’t often verbalize their thoughts on that front): the stuffed animals, the elliptical in the living room and the transparent refrigerator drawer filled to the brim with various packets of condiments along with the occasional (okay more than occasional) fortune cookie, because that just seemed like a good place for them to go. I would always order copious amounts of Chinese food and freak out because I’d get so many of those cookies and not know which fortune was meant for me or how the fuck that all really works, getting just one would’ve been daunting enough, so I’d just do what I usually do with things that could pertain to my future, which is put them off indefinitely by stuffing them in either a physical or metaphorical drawer.

These women would open my fridge to get a water or beer or something and say some variation of “What the fuck is this?” while pointing to the drawer. Sometimes they’d open it and dig around in there, see what they could find. Or we’d get something delivered and they’d be like, “I think I saw some Chick-fil-A signature sauce in there and that would probably go really good with this.”

So they’d judge it negatively initially but it would come in handy sometimes and they weren’t above taking advantage of that, is I guess what I’m saying.

People can be that way.

I don’t know if I can aptly explain my attachment to this drawer, but I’ll try. I think I felt some sort of sentimentality toward it because it started as something small and then I watched it grow as I grew along with it. And then there was the comfort factor. Having all these things around when I needed them, it was something i had some semblance of control over, chaotic and disorganized as the contents contained therein generally were.

Through our tenure together parts of us expired.

Other parts were used.

Some had no takers whatsoever.

And some were ultimately thrown away as I prepared to start over and try to move on, something I don’t necessarily like to do in some way every few years or so, but feel compelled to do anyway.

Now I’m in a new place and I’ve started filling a new drawer, first with the cookies that came with my first Chinese meal in Chicago that I have refused to open.

I don’t know what the future has in store for me.

I don’t know what cookie is for me, if any.

And I like it that way.