Fries Are Best with Vinegar
Lottie could see she was becoming the unlikeable person to a greater degree, daily. Each time she opened her mouth, she said something vile, and whoever was within earshot seemed to like her a little less. These could be coworkers—these could be people she barely stomached (a compliment, trust me). Even if she didn’t say anything, even if all she did was have a look on her face, it was perceived by others as objectionable. In the scarce attempts at becoming likeable for four whole seconds – more than that was impossible – it proved itself draining. Bucking the trend isn’t exactly healthy, is it? Besides, she long ago made peace with who she was.
People often asked me: “Why can’t she be more pleasant?” “Did the world somehow escape her?” Facts are, that melancholy lay in the reality of her lifelong circumstance—not so much within the blues and greens of the world’s land and water. Not in the many tones of earth which often originate from clay pigments. Not in the colors such as umber, ochre, and sienna, but in the hardships. The ones that quickly seeped into her amygdala and turned her once mental soundness into a pewter tangle of misfiring neurons.
She may have become more acidic simply by growing older. But I believe that Lottie faded long ago, trying to dodge her destitution— it’s a hard thing for even the springiest of chickens. Nonetheless, resisting no longer made sense. Especially if assumptions were the things that uninvitingly became front and centre. One might as well lean into it, as into a cold wind. And that she did with an unspoilt success.
I’m her brother, therefore she hasn’t the vote available to like me or not. Even though she predictably tries her hardest to push me away. I join her for lunch weekly because we both share an unspoken affinity for French fries. She may not give me her thanks, but this matters not because I’ll always love her just much as I love my chips with vinegar. She’s just my only necessary condiment.