The Pain & Frustration of Almost

You know that pain and frustration of almost. You almost passed your driving test. At the last turn back to the driving center, you forgot to signal. Hence, you failed. You almost got married or at least have a longer relationship with that someone. But a third person came along and your loved one left you. Your favorite Formula One driver almost won the race. But a mechanical failure at the final lap robbed him of that podium, which in that case, not only the fans suffered from the pain and frustration of almost, the car team too.

And etc.

A couple of days ago, after a 2 hours casual catch-up with my friends online and since I have failed to find a driver to deliver dinner ordered online, my wife suggested that we shall cook instead.

I enjoy cooking – love is a strong word – and the process is therapeutic to me. It is seldom about the destination. Because I often take 5 to 10 minutes to consume my meal. Cooking takes longer. It is the journey, not just the destination.

I chopped red onion, peeled the garlic, sliced the ginger, deseed the chili, and diced the tomato. I dried and marinated the fish fillets and fried them to golden brown. The smell was so good.

After the fish was cooked, I removed the fillets from the fire, washed the wok and stir fried the onion, garlic, chili, and tomato. I added water, covered the wok to soften the tomato, poured in the rest of the seasoning, and just when the dish was almost done – all I needed was to put the golden brown fish filet onto the tomato sauce when …

… a bottle of chili flakes fell from the kitchen cabinet as I accidentally knocked that off the shelf. That bottle of chili flakes fell onto the plate that held the beautifully and perfectly fried fish fillets, shattered the plate into pieces.

I attempted to clean up the fillet under a running water and continued to cook – much like how an F1 driver continued to pilot his car after a mechanical failure. But as I looked at the tabletop, there was really a lot of shattered colored pieces. I even bleed my hand as I clean it up. Can you imagine what if some of these pieces got stuck onto the fish fillets and then we ate them for dinner?

I sulked. Genuinely sulked. I nearly cried. Not sure why. Perhaps the food waste. Perhaps the effort made. Or perhaps I felt sad about that home-cooked dinner on a late Friday evening that we almost had.

After making a joint decision with my wife, I threw the dish into the bin, took out the trash, and went to a food center nearby to buy dinner.

Looking back and as of now, I don’t feel that sense of pain and frustration no more. That’s what time does to you. That almost driving test, didn’t matter no more. That almost relationship, didn’t matter no more. That almost F1 victory, didn’t matter no more. But at the moment, when the reality dealt its hands, that really hurt.

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