From Within

“I want more sauce” Miss A declares. That, by the way, is her general philosophy in life. More sauce. More gravy. More trimmings. More bells and whistles. Yes, she would like fries with that, thank you. But I digress.

We are having a yum-cha night in front of the TV, watching “Arthur and the Invisibles” for the hundredth time. Actually, she insists it is only the second time ever, but we do a mean job of exaggeration around here. Makes cold and sullen evenings bearable and all that.

The sauce has a mind of its own. It clings steadfastly to the insides of the bottle and no amount of cajoling makes it edge any closer.

“It is the cold”, I tell her. “Maybe the sauce is too cold to move.” Outside, on cue, a banshee storm wails and hisses.

“Try again”, she says. So we do. Because there is the urgency of a half eaten spring-roll.

No dice. This way and that, we twist and turn and shake and roll the bottle, our efforts a glorious zilch, there is no sauce through the nozzle.

She goes back to the couch and I am left with an adamant bottle and a crest-fallen child. There are no simple problems on somedays.

I think of substitutes and excuses. Of why things are not the the way they should be. Of why we write paens on failing and yet success makes do with punch-lines and imposed brevities. 

I open the bottle top to see if anything is wrong with the nozzle. And then I notice that the cardboad air seal of the bottle is still intact, still holding back everything that should now be free. The sauce moved but could only get so far.

The seal is ripped off, the bottle top is re-instated and the sauce comes out in plump drips and gives the spring-rolls a new lease of life.

 “This is good” Miss A says. 

“Very good”  I add. See note above for success having to do with meagre descriptions.

“So what was wrong with the bottle?” she asks. Nothing really, now that you think of it.  So I tell her the story of how I couldn’t even see what was stopping the flow. From inside.

  We carry obstacles inside us, every one of us.  The world is just an excuse.

Because the things that stop us – they almost always come from within.