Oil & Vinegar

Chaos in Print

I do crazy things at work when it gets slow. It’s probably stuff I shouldn’t do. Because we are in the produce section, the salad dressing is right next to us. I’ve been compelled to do this for as long as I can remember. You should try this at home. It’s a lot of fun. What you do is you get yourself a bottle of a good oil & vinegar salad dressing. I find Italian is the most common. Set it down in front of you. Shake the hell out of it. Then, watch it separate. Better than a lava lamp.

It all appears to be one uniform substance when you put it down, but then it begins. The oil begins to cloud together. It slowly – very slowly – begins to rise. It’s like clouds, joining together, preparing to blanket the sky. Like little pink bubbles the break through the surface of the vinegar and rise, rise, rise. It tries to go higher, but the lid of the bottle seals its universe.

The vinegar settles to the bottom. It brings with it most of the colour; its glorious whitish-orange colour. As the oil rises, this wondrous colour just melds together and begins its journey downwards. It touches the bottom of the bottle and just spreads out, encompassing as much as it can in the nether region of this bottled universe.

And in it all are the chunks of vegetables; the spices; the seeds; the flavour. The dance about in the elixir, flowing with the tides of first, the vinegar, and then, the oil. It’s an endless ballet as the particulate dances with each other. It’s a zero-g figure skating routine as they are suspended in the centre of our hermetic world. As the seconds tick away, gravity begins to reassert itself, and the particulate chooses to join the colours at the bottom. They know better than to fly up to the sky and risk getting their wings burned.

I still don’t know exactly how long the entire process of separation takes. I can only stare for about five minutes or so before I realize I should get back to work. But it’s very relaxing and a quick break from washing lettuce and looking for rotten tomatoes. I continue my existence; my zero-g figure skating routine, dancing between a pink sky above me and a colourful existence below me. Dare I rise to the sky and risk getting my wings burned, or do I sink to the colours and particulates below? I do not know. I just continue floating in the middle.

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