At first I loved the way he peeled oranges. So careful, so deliberate.
He would cut the peel with a knife, scoring the lines of each quarter. Next, he would pull back each section, one at a time and pile the pieces of orange peel on top of one another.
Then he would draw the orange closer to his nose and inhale the scent.
I admired him for it. The mindfulness, the sinking into the moment, the full awareness that he brought to eating that orange.
Every orange. Every day.
I admired him for his dedication to the process, at first.
But then, I began to notice that he took that same approach with everything.
He took his time getting into the car, he savoured the moment, the experience of driving.
He eased his way into reading, he luxuriated in the feel of the paper, the smell of the book.
He focused on every kiss, gently touching his lips off mine, my chin in his hand.
Not just sometimes, not occasionally.
Every single time. Every single act.
We fought about it (slowly and deliberately, honouring our anger).
I talked to my therapist (quickly and heatedly, no honouring, no savouring).
He told me that I needed become more enlightened, more patient.
At first, I believed him. I felt badly about it, about being so caught up in the world’s impatience that I made him suffer my anger.
Gradually though, I realized that I did not care to have every experience drawn out. I did not care to become enlightened.
I didn’t savour our break-up. I probably didn’t honour his feelings. He can take his time with everything, but I no longer have to.
That next morning, I pushed my thumbs into an orange and pulled it apart with ease. I ate each half and then tossed the peel into the sink from where I sat at the table. Then I had another.
It tasted just as good as the ones he had served me.