Wednesday, January 6, 2010


It's too much, she thought, to think about tonight. Tonight I'll drink tea and meditate and go to bed. After all, tomorrow is another day.

She rummaged through the boxes for a teapot and settled for the ancient Lo-Heat stainless steel pan her grandfather had bought sixty years ago. It hadn't occurred to her before to wonder why Papa Joe had bought such fancy cookware. Nana had been dead thirty years - after that, the girls had done all the cooking. The story went that Papa would tease the girls by pretending not to know who had cooked that night. "I can always tell Norma's biscuits - dry as dirt!" Hazel and Norma both got themselves into a snit over stuff like that. Mary Anne was too little and didn't have to cook anyway.

It really was all too much to think about, but Orla thought about it anyway. She could never keep all this stuff. Matt would be patient for a few days, but after that would begin to fidget and clear his throat a lot, like he was starting to speak but had thought better of it. After a week of that, he wouldn't be thinking better of it anymore and that's when the fights would start. Orla wasn't ready to fight and didn't expect to be ready in two weeks.

Patrick didn't care about these things. Not really. He had heard the stories and had looked at the pictures. Maybe the three-dimensional glass and porcelain and steel would capture his heart and close the connection. She knew she was kidding herself. This stuff was not the reality, and no matter how many stories she told, she could never make these things real. What she needed was Smell-o-vision. Papa's house had always smelled vaguely like meat, which was probably the bacon grease in the green beans or the pork knuckles in the collards. Orla had tried cooking like that for Matt when they had been newly married, back when his patience was still thick and she was relaxed in her life. He had eaten it without saying much, refusing seconds. Before long he started mentioning saturated fat and cholesterol when they weren't at the table. He bought her a heavy non-stick pan and her mama's cast iron pots disappeared. She just realized that. When had she last seen them? No, really, it is too much to think about tonight.

Orla switched off the gas and looked around for a cup. Matt would have reminded her that that's what you do while the water is heating instead of staring out into the blackness just beyond the window. She opened the thick pecan cupboard door to the left of the sink, but it was an unproductive reflex because the cups were in a box in the living room. She padded across the old familiar planks to find what she needed. The first she came to was a white china cup that had been repaired at least once. Tonight it was missing just one triangular piece from the rim. Matt would have tossed it in one expert arc into the metal trash can in the corner. Something that broken isn't worth keeping. She pulled it out of the box and went back to the kitchen.

Orla stared at the cup then around the big kitchen. The light over the stove was on, but she had left off the bright overhead light with the long string. She reached into her purse for the phone and hit "Home."

Matt? I'm going to need to stay longer than I thought. There's too much. No, no need. Stay there.

Something that broken isn't worth keeping.


dirtyduck said...

hey! on your profile it says you do geocaching, what the heck is that???i am requesting my answer in detailed blog form by the way......ha j/k. i saw a geocache thing on ebay "disguised" as a blade of grass...i wrote the guy selling them asking what they were and i got this answer "it is a blade of grass geocache"...obviously you dont have to be smart to do this....ok well back to reading your blogs. do you two blog cordinate or something?

¡Vizcacha! said...

You're killing me! HAR! No, you don't have to be smart to geocache, but you have to be smarter than that to sell a geocaching item. Now I'm intrigued ... off to eBay to find that blade of grass ...

It's a game you play with a handheld GPS. At you find some hidden "treasure" in your area, get the coordinates and go off to find it. If you're hardcore, that's it, but I always click on a map to at least know what road it's near and get some landmarks. It's the sort of thing you might enjoy doing with a duck.

Well, we sort of do coordinate, but I'm wordier and have more time on my hands. This blog is just me and my writing, photography and general blah-blah, and the Good Luck Duck is just about our plans to head out. Annie and I both write on that one.

dirtyduck said...

"off to eBay to find that blade of grass ..."

im SURE somebody has snatched that little gem up already:)

i still dont exactly get it though,im going to look up that site, i am interested. thanks for answering

lol you sort ofcordinate?:) ttyl