I’ve accomplished a lot in the five months since I graduated from Boston College. I sent a few emails. I wrote another column for The Heights, BC’s ill-reputed student publication. I even rewatched the entirety of Avatar: The Last Airbender, the greatest show that 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008 had to offer kids aged nine through 12. My greatest achievement, however, has been learning how to cook.
My fellow BC alumni know me for several qualities, including handsomeness, intelligence, modesty, and an aversion to cooking at all costs. As soon as I started living hundreds of miles from the five-star restaurant that they call “Lower,” though, I realized that my lack of cooking needed to change.
“Teach me,” I told my roommate, who is unaware that most of my human interactions end up in The Heights. “I must learn everything you know about cooking and more.”
“Let’s start with grilled cheese,” he replied.
In no more than eight minutes, my roommate had shown me how to cook a slice of cheese between two pieces of bread. Grilled cheese was a bit of a misnomer since he had technically broiled it, but I wasn’t going to complain about my delicious broiled cheese. After all, I was a chef now.
“Do you want me to show you how to make pasta?” my roommate asked.
“No,” I told him. “I don’t need you anymore now that I know how to make broiled cheese. As Bruce Lee likes to say, ‘The student has become the master.’ Be gone from my presence.” (I don’t know whether Bruce Lee ever actually said that, nor do I know who Bruce Lee is.)
My roommate returned to his room to tend to his sheep or whatever he does when he’s not basking in my glory, and I marveled at my newfound cooking-based abilities.
I was a god—a cooking god.
Since my roommate first taught me to broil bread and cheese a month and a half ago, my dinner menu has greatly expanded as I’ve begun teaching myself to cook. I can now make not only “grilled” cheese but also “grilled” sandwiches and “grilled” plain bread, which some have dubbed “toast” even though, in this case at least—as with the “grilled” cheese—it is in fact broiled.
While I already made the extremely lucrative, career-focused decision of majoring in Islamic Civilization and Societies at BC four years ago, my ability to craft the finest “grilled” bread, “grilled” cheese, and “grilled” sandwiches on the East Coast has opened up a whole new set of career options.
I could become a celebrity chef! I could become a regular chef! I could become whatever that cultural phenomenon Guy Fieri is—presumably some kind of chef! What more could an alumnus of BC and the Sultan Qaboos College for Teaching Arabic to Non-Native Speakers desire? If only St. Ignatius, Sultan Qaboos, and my enemies at Mattress Firm could see me now.
“Austin,” you, my adoring fans, are likely asking, “Does your new career as a celebrity chef mean that you’ll stop writing for The Heights, and are you free on Friday night to take me out to dinner?”
No, dear fans, I will keep writing columns for The Heights through December at least, and, yes, I am free Friday night. I’m free every night, which is why I spend my time making “grilled” cheese.
Unfortunately, my columns aren’t especially relatable because I’m both more accomplished and more beautiful than you, but I’m really doing my best here. How many other celebrity chefs do you know? Yeah, nonexistent readers of The Heights, that’s what I thought you’d say.
In my next column, maybe I’ll talk about my only weakness: my inability to dress myself, considering that I have the fashion sense of an employed middle schooler. Finding the right clothing is difficult, and purchasing a suit from Men’s Wearhouse is consistently a disturbing, tumultuous experience. I don’t wish that unpleasantness on any of you, except my enemies, who are numerous.
I guess that I’ll see you all again in November, assuming that anyone reads these columns.
Does anyone actually read The Heights? Maybe that should be the next mystery that I investigate … Wait, no. I changed my mind. That sounds way too difficult. Clothing it is!
Featured Graphic by Nicole Chan / Graphics Editor