Unconditional Fulfillment, by Missi Rasmussen

original found here

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Equipment you will need:
A peeler that fits into your hand snugly
so you have complete control
as you enter the time-consuming task
of peeling away all the outer layers
of the fruit he left behind. Nevermind
it’s been sitting there among the gnat traps.
It will be perfect without the bruises.
Preferably a dedicated saucepot. You
cannot work well with a coating that sticks
or something you cannot handle
well. It must have a good,
strong handle. As must you.
A strainer that fits your vessel.
Nothing is more frustrating
than trying to fit two pieces
together and making a mess
because they never went together
in the first place. Tea is watery
and runs quickly in all directions.
No one likes cleaning it up, and there’s
almost always some of it left behind.
You don’t want to be soaking
on your hands and knees due to
an incompatible strainer/cup relationship.
Ingredients:
3 tablespoons fresh ginger.
Preferably chopped up and mashed
yourself. You can use that stone statue he gave you
that’s always stayed intact no matter how many
times you’ve “accidentally” dropped it on another
surface just as hard.
2 cloves.
Depends on their freshness. Also
depends on the time you are willing to put into
raising them. The children,
not the cloves.

1 cinnamon stick.
Very important, but it depends
on the size. Use the largest stick
you can find. There’s no such thing as too much
cinnamon, and it will help you
stay warm with all that spice.
1-2 peppercorns.
Some people like adding these for an extra bite.
But if you’ve been through enough pain
already, feel free to omit.
2 cups milk.
You could have made this yourself five
years ago if he hadn’t been so jealous.
What a waste! You may find you need more of this later,
so save a reserve. You may need it to ease
the strength or lower the temperature,
as you were expecting lukewarm.
2 cups water.
Perfect ingredient, and you can find it anywhere. Cooling
and cleansing; it’s just what you need.
But do not use bath water; residue
always remains.
Sweetner:
Don’t be crazy! This is the best part. Honey
works well, but I always hated it when he called me sweetie.
Honey takes time. Sugar is my favorite, but it’s unhealthy.
Never accept anything artificial. Your own wits will do.
Method:
You must boil first to remove impurities.
Think of it as a ritual. And as the steam rises,
breathe in the moment of one thing changing
into another.
Add a few other things, but keep boiling. You
have everything you need, so the order doesn’t
matter anymore. Just make sure
you never turn up the heat. You certainly
want to avoid open flames and the irreparable
damage they can cause.
Stew.
Just long enough for things to saturate.

With your compatible cup and strainer, separate the tea
from the shit that’s accumulated at the bottom.
It looks good, and it smells wonderful,
but don’t be fooled. It can
only be used once.
Finally, serve it up the way it deserves.
With lots of froth in an artistic ceramic mug,
Nothing with your college logo or anything with a chip in it.
Avoid anything you acquired while on vacation.
Avoid anything given to you by someone whose
identity is starting to fade away.
The tea deserves a better vessel in which
to reside before it is sure to
be enjoyed by your unconditional fulfillment.

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