A Message from the Biology Department Microwave

by Denise Bike 0 Comments

Every Friday afternoon, I meet up with friends from my previous job. We write together. Today, while waiting for the group to convene, I found a microwave in the break room down the hall and warmed up my belated lunch. (We meet at 1; I usually eat beforehand.) It was one of those large, old, clunky microwaves from the 90s. The decrepit kind that usually finds its way into the back alleys of academia.

As I waited, I read some emails. BEEP. I dutifully responded to the sound, walking over to the microwave door and opening it. On the side panel, a little message had replaced the expired minutes in the display. It said, “ENJOY.

What a great idea, I thought smiling. I hadn’t intentionally grabbed my plastic-encased lunch out of the microwave with that explicit intention. But now that you mention it, enjoying my lunch seems like a perfectly good idea. Thank you, microwave. I will now enjoy my lunch. And I did.

The invitation remained with me in the three hours since. When I left the university and merged into traffic, I thought, Why not enjoy this? This was where I was: in my car, in traffic that wasn’t moving very far very fast. It was not in my control to change the traffic into an event more inherently enjoyable. But, what was stopping me from being the source that the enjoyment emanated from? Nothing. I decided to enjoy my time in traffic. And I did.

I went on to enjoy the time I spent driving in circles trying to find a little shop in Hampden. Then, having found the shop, I chose to enjoy the time I spent driving in circles around it trying to find parking. Then, the decision to drive home past three schools consecutively that were all letting out. Enjoy, the microwave entreated, enjoy.