How I Lost My Faith in Pepper

It just never occurred to me that you could run out of peppersalt and peppar

cookingThere I stood, in the middle of making guacamole, with an empty pepper can — I’m not talking about the pepper shaker — that was empty too — I mean the big 4oz can you have in your cupboard. 

Guacamole bowelWorse — the guacamole was for a friend’s mother’s cookout. You can’t bring under-seasoned guacamole to an event like that.

How could life be so heartless? Is there no God? I thought you bought a can of pepper and it was good for life.

I shook the pepper can again, unable to believe what I was seeing. I peered inside. There was not a pep of pepper left.

My mother never ran out of pepper, not that I know of anyway. Her pepper can was always at least half full. The world was more reliable when I was a kid. You could count on things like the weather, your job, your teddy bearteddy bear, the house you lived in, The President, President

and a can of pepper.

Not any more — things have changed. Seems nothing is certain.

One last time, I stared at that can of pepper, willing it not to be empty, needing it not to be empty. Then I got in the car, drove to Jewel, and bought a new can.

On the way home, I wondered if the world would ever be the same; if I could ever have faith in a can of pepper again; Faith — that huge little bite-you-in-the-ass-but-life-sucks-without-it word.

The new can of pepper now sits where the old one sat. It’s not the same color – the can
that is. The pepper seems peppery – makes my nose itch like the old can.

I called a friend, a professional cook, for advice. “Give it time. That new can of pepper will grow on you,” she said. “Yeh, but what if it runs out someday too,” I said. “I don’t think I can take another disappointment like that.”

“You’re stronger than you think,” replied my friend.
“Just have a little faith.”

Meditation on a Can of Pepper



When I think about pepper, I can’t focus on my breathing.  Cuz all I get is — Ah — Ah — Ah Choo!!

About almondhead

I am a mental health counselor in private practice. One of the focuses of my practice is helping people with fear, anxiety and their ugly stepsister, depression. I became a counselor after a long career in the technology world, so naturally, I think of the brain as an engineering problem. It can help to understand something about how the brain works. I decided to start this blog as a way to help other people learn about fear, anxiety and relationship. (All our problems are really about relationships.) You can also find me at:
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