Thursday, November 8, 2012
the weight of an empty kitchen
but last night around midnight, i slipped out of bed and went to the kitchen to get some water. and with the lights off and the moon spilling across the countertops, i could pretend for a second. pretend our plates were still hung on the wall, the way my uncle arranged them that one afternoon. that my yellow spice jars were still sitting on the shelf, the ones i was so happy to find at the dollar store. i could imagine we still had the chalkboard hanging over the microwave, with notes and quotes i couldn't bring myself to erase. that the oversized alarm clock wasn't in a cardboard box somewhere, along with the magnet from our honeymoon, and the vegetables from our garden were still hanging in the wire basket.
i holstered myself up and let my legs dangle by the cabinets. from that vantage point i've watched a million sunrises and seen my windowsill plants lean into the glass. i saw the oven where i burnt that apple cake this year, and the caramel glaze last december. the old wooden table where we sit on weekdays for supper. the meals i tried to make. the ones that succeeded and the tuna casserole that didn't. that little corner where every night i sit and wait with pablo while he eats. i stayed there for a second and breathed it in.
our first night here, i walked around the rooms in the dark. there are only five. i walked around and around them in a circle, learning their curve and shape. i laid on the linoleum and rested my cheek on its cold flower pattern. i leaned into the wood walls and breathed in their years. since then, i've made my mark on every crevice of this tiny place. i can't look outside without remembering the laundry that hung from the clothesline or that warm march night when i went and sat on a blanket alone and listened to ryan adams while the moon shone over the pin oaks. the little porch and swing reminds me of summer nights and white wine, of waving goodbye to parents and of robert in his white sleep shirt, propping the screen door open to wish me a good day at work as i honked in the driveway.
i cried when i took the first picture off the wall. that first moment of deconstruction, of removal. the transformation from home to house, the erasure of all i tried so hard to build. and i cried again last night, my pillow propped against the headboard, the shed light glowing in through the blinds, just as it has every windy night since 2009.
places and people change, this much i know. and time marches on, but just this time, i wish it would crawl.