Don’t burn the bacon, don’t burn the bacon, I chanted as I pulled it out of the package and slapped it on the griddle. My husband (I’ll call him “E”) usually fixes breakfast on Sunday mornings, but he was doing something else and asked me to start it. I don’t remember what he was doing, but it was more important than bacon, which seems like an oxymoron. How could anything be more important than the bacon? At least, that’s what I thought when he asked me to cook it along with the cheese-eggs.
Now, I know you’re thinking: It’s really not that hard. Bacon is easy. But it’s not. I promise. He does a much better job than I because he’s had a lot more practice lately. My cooking skills have declined the past couple of years, and I’ve resorted to take-out, grilling out, or taking it out of the frozen aisle. Don’t get me wrong–I love good food. And I like trying new things. But I’m not great at cooking it.
Instead I retreat into my writing space. My happy place. My “mind palace” (thanks, Sherlock). And I write. And rewrite. And so I have given up many other pursuits, such as cooking and laundry, to pursue my dream of writing. And I’ve never been happier.
E and my son (“J”) have put up with this crazy dream for a while now, and I love them all the more for being supportive. That Sunday I started thinking about a certain character in my novel who was giving me trouble, agonizing over a plot point, and slowly, unavoidably, the bacon turned black and crispy. At the last minute, I saved a couple pieces from utter ruin. The cheese-eggs weren’t great, either (not enough cheese, maybe?). But E and J didn’t complain. Like the gentlemen they are.
Creating another world in my head is more important than bacon. Even so, I’ll try not to burn it next time.