Onions & Potatoes

There’s a way we are. And there’s a way we want others to see us. Onions and potatoes. One is so different from the other. In looks, taste, and many other ways.

We are onions masquerading as potatoes. Vice-versa is not true. We like to think we have a rough evenness about us, a small spot here and dimple there, but there is a sameness of the surface that is easily recognised, known and comfortable.

Most people will see us the way we present, and once in a while, someone will attempt to see under the surface. They’ll peel us to understand us a little better. The flesh is different from the skin, and they think that they know us better because they can see what lies beneath. Usually this is enough for most people, to see us raw. A few dig deeper. To no avail. It’s the sameness they encounter, for the potato flesh is even, right down to the core. We are satisfied with this excavation; it is, after all what we presented: a potato.


We are onions, essentially. Layers and layers of us tightly covering each other, leaving no space to breathe even, as if someone or something might find a way between the layers. An unfulfilled dream is a layer. A lost love is a layer. An unanswered question, an accepted abuse, a missed opportunity, an unavenged insult, are all layers. We hide them. One over the other; one over the other. A feeling of respect, that one moment of utter love, the mother’s cuddle; the pride in the father’s eyes. The friend who once was but isn’t now, the first girlfriend we will never forget. All of them layers in our lives. Even if we present ourselves as a potato; we are onions, really.

Deep within, the core of the onion and the flesh of the potato are the same.

Our lives are onions, yet we spent an eternity living as potatoes. Our presentation of our lives, which we once carefully crafted for the sake of others, denies us the essence of who we really are.

Each experience of our lives, so wonderfully onionised and available to us; all we want is to potato it into a homogenised flesh of common beige.

We will one day, question our lives.


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