Imagine a person who cannot cook for themselves. Maybe they had a traumatic injury at a young age from the stove and they are afraid of the heat, or they just feel completely incompetent, knowing to cook only one dish. The nutrients from this dish are not diverse enough and they feel dissatisfied and physically lacking nutrition.
The government have decided that cooked food should never ever be bought. To protect those who cook, standing up on their feet all day, in the oily heat, slaving away for somebody else pleasure and satisfaction. Only people who truly love you are allowed to cook for you, or at least those who like you enough. Most people cook for their spouse and vice a versa, or those not in a relationship go on different apps and look for a cooking exchange, working the best of their charm and bragging about their cooking talent to attract an interesting chef friend.
Those who cannot cook at all eat raw carrots and reminisce about that one or two times somebody cooked them a hot, creamy, delicious meal. They felt the joy of that entire experience. Smelling the sweet scents coming from the kitchen, feeling tingly excited and focused, taking in every sight and sound and enjoying the cheerful company of the other person, cooking with pleasure for them. The anticipation and the ritual of the meal are the best part. And then the first bite, every flavour is sensed one after the other, an experience that can’t really be kept in memory, besides a few emotional glimpses. It was a mixture of salty and sour, creamy and soft, with surprise bites of a green fresh herb…
The person who cannot cook is biting on their carrot, their mouth watering more because of the memory, no so much because of the carrot.
This person pretends everything is fine, going about their life and not confiding in anyone about their longing for warm food. The people around them who are naturally more sociable and have more to offer manage to organise a cooking exchange by going on different apps or actively charming potential chefs in their immediate surrounding. But this person we talk about does not have skills or witt or charm to engage in such a complicated social interaction. They have been like that their entire life. Not to mention, they don’t like unions, mushroom, beef, are allergic to eggs and can only digest certain kind of legumes. The thought of organising the perfect chef who will take care of all their dietary needs so precisely, and cook for them with love, and where and how to find this person, this boggles the mind.
In this world there are those who genuinely like to cook for others, maybe its even their biggest talent and passion. They don’t mind standing on their feet for many hours and don’t find it humiliating, as long as the person they cook for is grateful and appreciative of their effort, and contributes back to them with a monetary exchange. Society looks at them with disrespect, and does not understand why they enslave themselves for somebody else like that, just for money. Most people would not be able to enjoy coming to a strangers apartment, someone who they might not even like, touching their stuff and so intimately spending an hour or two with them. Most people cannot imagine doing it themselves, for them it would be too much sacrifice, so they don’t understand why somebody else would want to do it. But those who really like to cook for others enjoy seeing others enjoy. They enjoy the challenge of following a specific dietary need or improvising a dish on the spot. They see the hunger in their costumer and just want to help them with what they crave for. Just because its beautiful and rewarding to see, someone else (even just a friendly stranger) getting satisfied.