Living Nuts

Nandira Dyah Dewanti-

Being ignored for almost four days is so fun, anyone knows it well! All I do is sitting in a big white porcelain bowl on the countertops while hearing the crowds around. Yeah, I am only hearing them, the buzzing sound of the crews talk, the clink between spatula and pan, also the eerie sound of gas when they turn up the stove. I am having fun as I know that I am the best sauce here. I come from the best ingredients of sauce could ever ask. My mother was prom-queen peanuts, the most beautiful and tasty peanuts of all. Ah, I miss looking at her. I’m sure she’s now in a factory of selected peanuts—where all great peanuts gather—­ being so tanned and packed in a bag with a gallant bird on the cover which is such a great pride of peanuts to be there. Meanwhile, my father was prodigious chilies in solid shiny red. I guess he was sent to an amazing place in a bamboo plaited basket. Mother peanuts once told me that grandma is pulchritudinous brown sugar, even though I have barely ever met her but I’m sure she is.

“Tenderloin, medium well-done, 3 more, please! Plus an oxtail soup!”

“Yes! Soon, chef!”

“Beverages, 4 green tea shakes, 2 chocolate milk, 3 lemon teas, and a root beer, please!”

“On the way, chef!”

“Adam, would you put this big bowl on the front counter? It’s getting too packed here; I need space to make some lava cakes.”

“Isn’t it better to put it in the fridge, chef?”

“No, just leave it on the front counter. In case there’s gado-gado order, so we won’t need to re-heat it anymore. It’s been a week in the fridge though, our gado-gado used to be one of the best in town. I need to consider rearranging the menu I guess.”

“Okay, chef! People are mostly up for anything green tea-ish recently, if I may suggest.”

Here I am on the front counter, having new sights yet usual crowds of people at lunch time. I wonder the reason he said a week, it’s been only four days since I could listen to them. Now you know how my fun works, in this kitchen I always think of the lady green tea and monsieur chocolate’s feelings. How does it feel to be often used, ordered and… eaten? Meaning that being often stirred and taken by wooden and plastic spatulas. Is it good? Don’t they feel dizzy? I sure am the happiest ingredient is obviously me! I guess being on the front counter is not too bad, I can feel breeze air around here. Ah, this feels nice and relaxi— woah, woah, WOAH! What is happening to me? Woah this is too breezing! Am I getting lesser? Is this the feeling of getting scooped? Ouch! Why these humans cannot slow down, ugh!

“Hey, buddy! What’s up?”

“What do you mean ‘what’s up’?! I nearly died secs ago. Where are we?”

“Haha, take it easy. We’re in gado-gado plate, someone ordered us I heard. I’m Happotato. On your left, right on top of those piling veggies is Madame Egg, and that one on your right is Herminach. Have a great day here, Akrie! Uhm I mean minutes, hahaha!”

That potato gave me a very gleeful wave before he left, and now I am alone. Maybe I can go to Herminach, but erm… he looks so preoccupied, very devoted spinach. Oh, he must be a hermit, which explains his name well.

“Which one should I order? This one or that one? Yum, everything is so mouthwatering.”

“This one, you really should give a shot to the gado-gado here. My parents like to order it here.”

“Well yea, but I don’t think it will be worth it. It is pretty pricey here, and we’re in a mall. Why bother eating street food in a mall? We can get a cheaper price on the sidewalks with same sauce taste I guess. I think I’d rather order these cute desserts, so that I can have selfie with it and share it on the internet and then I’ll get many likes and comments!”

“Are you ready to order, miss?”

“Yes, one peanut butter cream pie with ice cream and one grilled peanut butter honey banana waffle sandwich, please.”

For God’s sake, that girl on the table across must be kidding me! She just compared me to gado-gado sauce on the sidewalks? My ancestors must have punched her if they heard it. Besides, I am 54.93% made of peanuts and I’m sure my hearing wasn’t mistaken that she ordered peanut-based desserts, but she didn’t want to have me? Dear God, am I really that worthless and unappetizing? What can I, a clump of peanut sauce, do to attract them enough? I cannot have nose job neither be so white like that flock of human on TV I saw yesterday. I really cannot hold these tears any—

“Hello, young man! Why are you crying?”

“Oh, hello Madame Egg. I’m not crying, ha-ha. I think I just got something in my nose.”

“Don’t lie to me. I know, it’s hard to be rarely ordered—oh or maybe not, I am an egg and people love eggs. I’m always ordered and have made so many profits to this restaurant, hahaha. Just don’t cry, okay? You’re ruining my perfect pose on this plate.”

“Well, see you ‘round Madame Egg.”

Wow, okay, so I just thought that I was unattractive and Madame Egg was just indirectly admitted it. What is happening to me? My world is upside down now. I mean, literally. Gash what’s going on?! I feel dizzy again. Suddenly, it is sooo breezy here. The talks are getting louder and it is less warm here. Why everything is going to my side??

“Happotato, what’s going on??”

“Hahaha…hold on, young man. Our plate is being taken to the customers’ table. See you in the belly! Hahaha….”

Alright, so it was the waiter taking the plate off of the counter to the customers’ table. I see many new friends here. Ah, that beautiful green foamy in tall glass must be the famous lady green tea shake. She smells so good, no wonder she becomes the idol here. Also, that greasy and shiny long tanned beauty must be…umm—

“What’s the dish? It’s brownish, many veggies…”

“Hi, we are gado-gado, an indigenous dish of Indonesia. I’m the sauce.”

“Oh yea, yea. Me is spring roll, from Vietnam. Me is new here. You know that fries and something coated with white sauce there?”

“So you’re the new Vietnamese spring roll. And yea they are fish and chips, originally from the UK. It is one of the favorites here I heard.”

“Thank y— Ouch, that light is hurting my eyes.”

I see the customer’s clean and well-taken-care-of fingers with silver shiny rings on two of the fingers. She is holding a phone on one hand and tapping the screen with the other one. I turn my head to my left side, I see another girl: long black hair with a pink earring on her ear. She’s closer than the ringed girl and smells like flowers.

“Instagram, done! Path, done! Snapchat, done! I think there’s one more missing.”

“Come on, let’s just eat these! Mayb—“

“Ah, wait a sec! I haven’t taken these for my phhhoto. Hold on, Steph, hold on.”

“Don’t you wanna take pictures of this gado-gado, too?”

“Nah, why should I? Look at the shape! It doesn’t look appetizing either photogenic! Moreover the sauce, it’s too brown! It looks like…ermm…well, you know…”

Sigh, another one listed on my yes-I-am-unattractive list. Maybe mother peanuts lied to me; I have never been that good and shouldn’t be too proud of myself. Maybe I’m just an ordinary peanut sauce, like the previous girl said, as ordinary as the ones on the sidewalks. I barely have friends too, here. I think I better stop dreaming and just do my main job: being a good sauce for gado-gado. No one would listen to me either.

“Shhss, you cannot say it that way! We’re on the dining table. Anyway, my aunt said the gado-gado here is really tasty, and the sauce looks rather sexy I guess. Can’t wait to eat it!”

I hate myself right now; it is proved that there are more people disliking me than people loving me. I don’t get why do people dislike me, why I’m the one who should take the blame? I have tried my very best to be the best, and being this brown, too pricey, or looking unappetizing aren’t my choice. Humans are the ones who do it. Also, when my ancestors tasted well, humans have never given us the credit; they give the credit to the kitchen’s crews, to the cooks. But I really want to say this Steph girl for flattering me, yet not enough to bring my spirit back. I wish I could be as amazing as my ancestors, but apparently I cannot. I’ll just be a good sauce with fewer dreams from now on. I have to let go these feelings and focus when I got into this girl’s mouth— it is pretty warm here. There you go the tongue, and tooth— ouch, teeth! Oh, hey calm dow—

“Yum! Oh my GOD, Brianne! You definitely HAVE TO taste this gado-gado sauce! Wow, I see the stars! This is maybe what they called mouthgasm.”

“STEPH! This is the best of the best of the best. Gado-gado. I’ve ever had. In my. Entire. Freaking life! This made of heaven!”




Word count: 1,599 words

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