There’s a phrase called Jiak Kan Tang, meaning to eat potatoes. It’s used in slight mockery of those who were born Asian but are more westernised in thought and behaviour. That is to say, preferring potatoes over rice.
Potato is also a great meme for the awkward girl, potating away in potatoland, awkwardly poting about while embodying both the essence and physicality of the potato.
I believe it is this Potato Identity that has often left me in a perpetual state of singledom. Not just single and ready to mingle. Or even just single and happy. I’m just, potato. Even when I’m in a relationship, I’m just preparing myself to be launched from a potato missile into singlehood.
Bitter and mouth-curling when raw with emotions, crumbly and mushy when heated. God I’m such a potato.
True, a potato can be delicious, but it’s tiring just being seen as delicious when embellished with someone else’s favourite garnish or sauce. Then again, I wouldn’t have me raw, or cooked and plain.
Even when I do meet people who seem to like the potato that is me, all I can think about is: Why? Too many YouTube good channels have taught me that potatoes in their natural state or least worked on are the worst state of potating. They may insist they like a nice, steaming, clean baked potato, but all I see is the crumbly, dry rubble of my innards. Or perhaps they exclaim that they admire the intensity of my raw emotions, yet all I hear is that they enjoy the vulnerability, that they see me for the potential not yet achieved.
It’s easiest to say I do best when discarded, forgotten and left alone. You see buds sprouting in abandoned potatoes after all. Yet I can’t seem to realise that loving nurture, water and nutrients help me become a plant, not just the sprouting of some weak shoots that wilt in weeks.
As I long for the quiet, dark dirt to bury me in self-pity, self-hatred, and self-sabotage, I’m resigned to be dug up by sharp claws and snivelling snouts. When all you know are cuts and intrusive smothering, a gentle touch still feels like a shimmering bolt of lightning.
Oh my Potato self, oh Potato me. Won’t you allow him to hold and grow you into a green, leafy plant? Why do you revert to staying rooted in your ways?