A Kernel of Truth

I love the smell of popcorn popping. I love the sound of popcorn pop pop popping.

I learned to pop popcorn at an early age by covering the bottom of a pan with cooking oil, turning on the heat, putting one kernel in, and waiting for it to pop. When it did, I knew the oil was hot enough. I then added the rest of the kernels, the lid, and shook the pan back and forth till I heard pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop.

In my twenties, I had a friend I’d chat with on the phone and she’d say, “I’m in the living room making popcorn.”

“How do you do that?”

She said, “I add all the kernels and turn on the heat.” Then she’d leave the kitchen to talk on the phone, fold laundry, or read. She returned when the popcorn was ready.

I was amazed.

“You can do it,” she encouraged me.

And over twenty years later, I still make popcorn her way. The only difference is I don’t leave the room. Aside from that, I do have a hands off approach. I don’t shake shake shake the pan like my forebears. I meditate, read a magazine, or write my next great opus.

I have a laissez-faire policy. It’s my popcorn anarchy.

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