I didn’t read the book for class, but I did have a secret chocolate chip cookie in my pocket. Whereas the rest of the class intended to mire themselves in the angst of post-modernity, I intended to wait for a little bit and then eat my cookie.
Oh it was going to be delicious. It was by far the best cookie in the classroom, possibly the best in Cairo, and a certain contender for the best cookie in all space and time. Its buttery taste, the fluffy yet chewy texture of the crumb, the chocolateyness of the chocolate chips….yes, bringing this cookie to school was likely the best decision I was going to make all week.
The class begins and my eyes instantly glaze over. I am already far from this place, my mind slowly orbiting around three topics: “I have a cookie in my pocket. How will I make it in San Francisco? I need to do laundry today.”
As if through a window, I see the professor in front of me yammering about something, the other students nodding in agreement. I find myself doing the same, compelled by a primal instinct that forces the human to avoid scolding by pretending to listen.
Group work is vicious, dragging me to back to the classroom to offer my own fabricated insights. This is difficult to do because of the cookie distraction. One day the students will turn on me, pointing their fingers at me and saying in unison, “This one sucks.” But that day is not today. The work ends, and we return to our own worlds that are supposed to revolve around the professor and whatever she’s saying. I go back to thinking about the cookie.
My stomach growls and I know the moment has come.
I remove the cookie from my pocket, its tender body protected from my coat pocket by a thick layer of foil. As I unwrap it gently the foil yields forth its precious burden. The student next to me gasps.
I know what she is thinking. Yes, this is a chocolate chip cookie baked fresh from my kitchen. Yes, it is America itself contained in a bit of flour, butter, and sugar, and it is likely the most valuable thing at the university at this time. It is mine, and I’m going to eat it now, and as the crumbs dissolve on my lips, I too will dissolve away from here and from this classroom where words are being said about the novel I didn’t read, the point of which only the author could understand.
This cookie, however, I understand. Why couldn’t the author write something more like it?
P.S. You should try “The Chewy Recipe” for your cookies, courtesy of dude Alton Brown. They are very delicious and better than homework.