Osaro sat in front his plate of rice and beans at lunchtime. He’d always loved that food combination since he was a kid. There was just something uniquely delicious about its taste to him. He was ready to dig in.
He liked rice on its own, and beans on its own and he ate those occasionally. But, to him, neither came close to the unique taste of rice and beans served together, partially covered in some red ‘stew’.
As he sat there, about to say a blessing over his hot delicious meal, the steam wafted its sweet aroma up his nostrils and this seemed to awaken his uniquely wild imagination. Something he was known for and teased about by his friends.
For a brief silly moment, he began to imagine what the rice and beans on his plate were saying to each other.
Perhaps they were all overcome with a fearful apprehension; a feeling that something bad was about to happen to them all. They knew the end had come for them and so they squeezed one another in a hug, shutting their eyes tightly as they awaited their consumption.
Or perhaps they were oblivious to their imminent fate and chose to spend their short time together being petty instead; focusing on other less important issues.
Maybe the rice were busy teasing the beans about how black and dirty they looked compared to how white and clean the rice looked. And then the beans would have retorted with how ‘black is beautiful’ and ‘white is trash’.
Or maybe the rice had noticed how fewer in number the beans were within the plate compared to them, and then decided to take advantage of that to oppress the beans and get them to do all the heavy lifting like carrying majority of the entire meal’s nutrients on their backs, since they were already big, sturdy and more muscular than the rice grains.
Or maybe both groups were trying their best not to mix with each other – the rice trying to stay on one side of the plate and the beans on the other side. That didn’t seem to be working too well for them, though, from Osaro’s viewpoint.
Granted, they could have been in separate plates – a plate of rice and a plate of beans – serving the same purpose, as when they are together, of bringing satisfaction and nutrition to humankind. But now here they are. They have found themselves in the same plate together, regardless of the circumstances that brought them there.
They all were collectively in that same plate, for the same purpose, under the same red ‘stew’, which Osaro, in his silly imagination, saw as symbolic of the same colour of blood that ran through their veins even though they were of different colours externally. They all came from the same place – the soil – and were all going to end up in the same place in a matter of minutes – his hungry belly.
If only they knew how short life was for them and how little the time they had together was, they wouldn’t waste it bickering over such pettiness but would instead bind together, working to produce the best taste, nutrition and satisfaction for the one who made them solely for his culinary pleasure and was now about to experience just that.
That was their ultimate life purpose, the one job they should have been focused on. They were simply in there to collaborate together in order to create the best taste and satisfaction for hungry Osaro. And the sooner they realized that, the better their communication and connection with one another would be, all directed toward that collaboration and creation.
Osaro snapped out of his silly imagination, back to reality and quickly said grace over his meal. With a swift movement of the spoon in his right hand, he mixed all the grains together into one big multicoloured mesh of black white and red.
And as he scooped his first bite, he mischievously thought how fun it would be to watch the surprised look on their faces when, in their ‘after life’, they would find themselves all meshed and existing together in one form – no distinction, no separation, no segregation – in that hellhole of a sewer.