If I Was An Onion
I’d be 19, in onion years
If I was an onion, I think I’d be Vidalia, tinted sunset marigold. Age? 19, in onion years. Goals? Poorly defined at best. Regrets and worries? Infinite, but countably infinite. Everywhere I look in onion-form, I see only one future for myself: onion rings, where I’m concealed under fried breadcrumbs and constrained by a one-size-fits-all recipe.
As I walk — or roll, as onions do — to the Stud, I think about the other dishes I could’ve cooked up between lectures, psets, parties, and so on. Maybe I could’ve concocted french onion soup. Or scallion pancakes, or some other fancy dish that makes headlines.
On the way, I hear awe-inspired whispers of legends who break the traditional “onion ring” mentality. From what I’ve gathered, the best onions are supposed to be diligent workers: in the kitchen, they wait 45 minutes on a stove to fully caramelize into its intense, sweet final product. On the flip side, onions are expected to adapt and bail out their classmates. For example, if a group project is bland, an onion could quickly sear in a pan and add a flavorful crunch last-minute — at the cost of their own sanity and time.
But for every such superheroic onion that succeeds, I know so many that burn to a charcoal crisp: it’s a lifestyle that lacks the stability of the standardized onion ring life. I personally avoided heated debates about onion life by simply looking away (but not really, since only potatoes have eyes) and throwing on my Apple headphones (though I don’t have ears, either).
But while onion-me doesn’t have either of those, I still have feelings — and I’m bruised, underneath my layers. As I roll from Stud to Lobby 7, I see Zucchini chatting with some friends. We’ve cooked up some cool dishes before — including ratatouille for class. But while our flavors never directly clashed, we weren't exactly a palatable harmony. And that makes me sad, because while I love the stability and safety of onion rings, I want to try something different.
Now, I’m rolling down the Infinite. As I roll, I feel one of my outer layers flaking away. That rattled me, but I felt light, airy, like stabilized whipped cream. In a daze, I follow through with my mid-day boba appointment with Garlic.
“How you doing?” they immediately ask when we meet.
I shrugged. “Alright. Tired.”
“Oh,” they said, thoughtfully. “You holding up?”
“Sort of, just... taking it layer-by-layer.”