I am disgusted.
It appears that Twitter has become a hotbed of hate speech and megalomania—a stark contrast to the welcoming hub of enlightened discourse we’ve known it to be.
The veil has been lifted. In the unprecedented fall from grace that shocked us all, Twitter now stands as a cesspool of delusional, attention-needy hackery at best, and dangerous hate speech at worst.
And so, in a move that will undoubtedly shake all thirty-seven of my cat-eared followers to their cores, I, Craig Warner, a.k.a. @dr@gonP3ni51993, have decided to quit Twitter.
I know it pains your tender hearts. Trust me when I say that no one mourns more than I do.
But this life choice, this sacrifice, gives me pause. It gives me a moment to think and reflect. It gives me plenty of time to cook this pot roast.
Now, I no longer doomscroll. I no longer administer hot takes, serving due justice to the criminally incorrect. I no longer threaten to dox people who disagree with my flippant, tangential views.
Now, I halve onions. I peel carrots. I heat up a dutch oven, turning the gas range to medium heat.
Now, I live.
I could be paying attention to the words of a delusional billionaire or a mentally ill rapper. But I am not. I have left that life behind.
Instead, I feel the grit of coarse sea salt, of fresh black pepper on my palms. Now, I rub the roast gently on all sides. Now, I caress it like a lost lover.
I could be thinking of my follower count. I could be agonizing over my follower-to-following ratio. I could be retweeting relevant people in some hope that I can get a drop, a little taste, of their glorious 12K followers of Twitter fame, tasting the likes as spattering pan drippings, small and pungent, but nevertheless fleeting, on my tongue.
But I am not.
Now, I am placing halved onions and carrots into sizzling olive oil. I’m smelling the sweet, slightly bitter scent of caramelizing onion as it wafts in the air. I am flipping to reveal the brown, circular-singed tree-ring patterns left behind. I am placing the onions and carrots on a dish.
I am setting aside.
I could be fixating on the latest hashtag. I could be trying to boost engagement. I could be scrolling through poorly filtered avatars and opinions of people who all read the same Medium article.
But alas, I am not.
Now, I am thriving. I am becoming self-actualized. I am preheating the oven to 275 °F.
Now, I am browning the roast on all sides, lightly searing until it must sear no longer. I am lightly browning the garlic. I am deglazing with red wine and beef stock, swirling a burgundy tide that washes away the fond.
I hear joy. I smell love. I watch my woes swirl like steam from a dutch oven, float out my window, and dance with the rain.
Now, I live in sprigs of rosemary; I laugh in twists of a pepper mill; I love in each crackle of a split bay leaf.
I cover the pot. I place it on the bottom rack. I let time persist; it flows in a glorious, quiet analog. I light a candle as the roast slowly cooks.
I wile away the hours.
There are no meaningless popularity contests, no endless scrolling, nobody named @BeYoNcE_Taint94 informing me that I am, in fact, a soy boy.
It’s only me, only the smell of herbs and wine, only the long-lost beauty of small moments.
And with the sound of rain and simmering sauce, it all seems to whisper, with a note of tiny triumph: