I bought Ramen tonight,
which is odd because there’s not much appealing about Ramen,
except maybe the price.
But I wanted it, so 97 cents bought me three packs of Just Add Water Ramen.
I microwaved one bowl and took two bites,
but something was missing;
something quite important was missing from my late dinner.
Because it’s two years ago now, Manuel and Tere slept at the orphanage,
and Karen, Manuelito, Ana, little Beki and I?
We stayed home.
The cousins came over and we locked the door tight, like Hermana Tere said,
and we pulled kitchen chairs around to the TV,
and we watched Inception until 3am,
and we ate Ramen.
It’s the same pack, the same styrofoam bowl and Fill to Here water line,
but this is Mexico and we value our flavor,
savor our spice.
And we sat around the TV slurping soggy noodles, red Salsa Valentina swirling together
with packet-flavored chicken broth.
That Ramen was spicy.
And tonight I sat at my desk and picked at noodles that lacked spice,
really lacked spice.
The Roommate was going downstairs, and I followed her there,
still picking my noodles because
And down the hall, through the Tunnel, people are eating here,
people are ordering here in the Commons,
and I smelled every single hot sauce they had,
and I ended up dumping Chipotle Tabasco sauce all over my noodles,
which were quickly getting cold.
And that fixed the problem, and I slurped them right down,
and it felt so familiar because my mouth burned and my nose ran,
and it was just like that late night in Mexico.
And a preached this week said God has a purpose in everything,
but sometimes it’s hard to imagine,
hard to comprehend,
that He puts meaning, that He has deep purpose,
in a night spent eating spicy Ramen and watching Inception,
while the dogs across the street barked
and someone, somewhere, set off a firework.
But every time I get close to wondering,
I realize that it’s not my job to question His decisions,
His grace, His gifts.
So I ate my chipotle Ramen, and I thought about Mexico,
and I thanked Him for time
that He’s given me.