The Weekend

Originally Posted on The Yale Herald - Medium via UWIRE

She was under the kitchen table, the sound of chopping right above her and the scrape of the knife against a wooden cutting board. It was a Sunday morning. She knew this because Joel Osteen was on the TV, preaching to a faceless audience. His spit projected through the glass and landed on the floor before her. Reciting something about “seasons of pruning” with interjections of the customary “God is good!” Osteen’s face grew bloated and red.

“Up now,” a voice from above commanded. She emerged from under the table, pleased to see the familiar face. “Shake it,” Halmeoni demanded, continuing to dice garlic with unmatched precision. Lily hoisted up the industrial bucket and thrusted it back and forth, using the entire mass of her little body. A ‘thank you’ wasn’t in order, but she was happy to assist, nonetheless. Halmeoni, wearing a coral muumuu and wide beige glasses, cupped her hand to the side of a Santoku knife. She tossed the palmful of garlic, then lifted the bucket to rest alongside jars of kkakdugi, dongchimi, and oi sobagi.

The lidless bucket would sit there for the next two weeks, a world of bacteria inside it. The microorganisms would work to intensify the aroma and taste of the spicy cabbage. It was a science experiment, and like all successful experiments it required testing. Lily scanned the kitchen. She heard Beethoven’s “Symphony Four, Movement Two” blaring from the record player in the living room. Her grandmother nowhere to be found, Lily plunged her arm into the vegetal entrails all the way up to her elbow.

Lily woke up in a mess of sheets, her dream perturbed by dueling car horns on Bleecker Street. She reached out for the journal on her nightstand and sifted through sparse details. Joel Osteen? was all she came up with. It was a Saturday. She needed to go grocery shopping.


Coffee (Decaf)

Tea (Green)




Garlic Powder




Fish Sauce

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