By Lee Glazier
“Ya know, I could really go for some pancakes, man,” I thought to myself as I stocked the shelves with water jugs.
Well, they weren’t just water jugs, uh, they had water in ’em, but “stocking water” sounds weird. I dig stocking water (ope). You pull the huge freakin’ pallet out from the back, park in the aisle, and then slide jugs onto the shelf two at a time. Most of it goes pretty smoothly; it can be kind of Zen if you get into a groove. But, the bottom shelf sucks. I usually sit down to do that one.
I was sitting crossed-legged on the floor, my muscles burning and my mood getting kinda sour, and then I thought about pancakes. A nice, big ol’ stack of flapjacks covered in maple syrup with a slice of butter melting on top. Maybe some whipped cream, if I’ve, ya know, got a sweet tooth at the time.
I smiled. Pancakes are good, man. They’re simple and ordinary and make me think of home.
Not my home, though. My parents didn’t make pancakes too often. We were a cereal and toast kinda family—quick, cheap and easy. The cereal was usually generic, and the milk was skim. Then I traded the cereal and toast for coffee and cigarettes—the apex of healthy nutrition.
That said, I’ve always dug breakfast food. In that moment, the thought of pancakes cut through all the uptight bullshit that was clogging up my engines. It was simple, ya know? Innocent. I didn’t want fame, money, a family, a good job or to be at home sleeping for a week—I just wanted some pancakes. And there was no, uh, there were no contradictions in my mind. All my streams of thought, all the Jungian archetypes cruisin’ around my consciousness, every centimeter of me just lightly wanted some pancakes.
It felt good being on the same page within myself, Dudes. It felt good being simple.
I try really hard to be as dumb as I can, man, but knowledge and insight are addictive, much more so than carbs.
When I was in high school, I used to kind of take care of a kid with Down’s Syndrome who rode with me on the bus. He was a probably five years younger than me or so, but he seemed a lot younger than that. He kinda took a shine to me for some reason, even though I was basically the brooding artist type when I was on the bus. I just wanted to sit alone, listening to Rush on my Walkman while thinking about how dumb society was.
He was a good kid. He liked wrestling and dinosaurs, and he dug it when I read to him. His name was Austin. I think about him sometimes and wonder what happened to him. My, uh, peers used to rip on me for my involuntary chaperone role, but fuck those guys—people are jerks, especially teenagers.
People are jerks because they don’t get the sacredness of a warm stack of pancakes, or how that little bit of light can keep ya goin’, man. Austin would probably get it, though. I’ve often thought how much further along some people with learning disabilities are compared to the rest of us, how Abiding sometimes comes natural to them, ya know?
I could’ve avoided a lot of drama (and debt) by just being happy with pancakes.
Why not pancakes, Dudes? They definitely taste better than a degree, and they’re less complicated than romances. They’re soft, warm and filling, and they came from a less complicated time. There’s evidence, ya know, that even prehistoric societies made pancakes, and each culture has their own take on the slab of soft what-nots.
The Nepalese version is called chatamari, and it’s been around for thousands of years. So, it’s possible that Buddha might have had some pancakes for breakfast.
Anyway, whoa I went really off into the weeds, didn’t I? I guess my point is pretty clear, Dudes. Well, I think it is, anyway. I think the moral of story is, “Learn to be simple, man. It’s the smartest thing a person can do.”
“Wait, did you make some pancakes when you got home, then?”
Oh, no. That’s way too much effort. I had a microwave burrito and called it a day. Sometimes, ya know, all you need is the thought. We don’t have to do everything we want to do, man, and that’s impossible anyway. Sometimes, just a little imagination is all it takes to guide our minds onto a smoother track.
Pancakes take time and energy, more than I’m willing to spend on just myself. Dreams are free and easy. Sometimes, wanting is enough.
“Dude” Lee Glazier is a Dudeist Priest, Zen adherent and Taoist enthusiast from Golden, Colorado. He likes reading, writing, hiking, taking baths, listening to classic rock, drinking White Russians, smoking, and having the occasional acid flashback. The only thing he truly believes is that everyone needs to slow down, mellow out, and unwad their underpants. He feels that that would solve all the world’s problems in a heartbeat. “Do you have the patience to let the mud settle and the water clear?”
Editor: Dana Gornall
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