The Perfectionist and the Plum

Last Sunday, as I pared through these plums, sweet, pink yet barely-colored juices dribbled down my hands, under my nails, and all over my cutting board. But to my eyes, they were bloody red and left stains. I swore. I slashed harder, ripping through the smooth but relentlessly taut skin and piercing the just-ripe flesh, with vigor, down to the core. I cursed it. I took out every ounce of anger I had on that natural, living object.

I’ve been feeling off. The preceding Sunday, I had delicious plans for six black beauties that I had ripening away on the counter. My vision for them combined a recipe over which I have been lusting for a couple of years with two pastries I had eaten at two local bakeries. A trifecta of pastry perfection, you could say. I got caught up. I forgot. And then it would be too late. I forgot? There would be no plums that day.

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Stress Snacks

lyonnaise garlic and herb cheese

For two out of my four years at Boston University, I was lucky enough to live in the Maison Française (French House). Unfortunately, we didn’t speak as much French as we were supposed to. Fortunately, though, my backyard was a walking bridge across Storrow Drive and to the Charles; my room was cramped but fitted with a swanky fireplace with white molding that was boarded up with marble tile; and like proper Francophiles, almost all of my housemates liked to eat good food (well, most of them, anyways). I found it impossible to do work in our living room where study sessions turned to chatter sessions and silent reading meant pretending to read while watching something on our great flat screen. As a diligent little worker-bee, I tried my room, the library, the student union, the College of Arts and Sciences and cafés. So most days, I swallowed my pride, and made the convenient trek directly across the street to Towers, an underclass dorm that made me feel oh-so young. Fitted with two study rooms, though, it was my second home on regular days and my only home come exam periods.

When I entered my study room of choice, I was always greeted by the same faces, pale and gaunt with fatigue and longing for a break. These were some of BU’s most dedicated — a group of which, if I could go back, I wish I wasn’t a part. I missed out on a lot of life in that hall, studying for things that now don’t seem all that important. The souls behind those faces were silent friends. They weren’t the ones you spend time with on weekends but the kind who nod when you pass just due to recognition. They’d often flash an expression that called out, “I know your pain.” I mean, during finals period, I would spend hours upon countless hours with them.

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