Thursday, August 24, 2006

Kitchen Floor

The creaky-bed-slat noise of geese overhead late at night draws me out into the back yard. It's a sound that makes me restless. The shwush of
wind in the linden where I sit at a battered wooden table, the shapes of things distorted by a nearly full moon.

As a child whenever that geese sound woke me at night I'd go downstairs and lie on the kitchen floor. Between counter and table there was a south-facing window, and the moon made a rectangle of light big enough for me to lie in. It was dark red linoleum over soft wood planks, and if I fell asleep there my mother'd rouse me when she came in to make breakfast by singing her morning song. This was an annoying little rhyme she made up that, when repeated enough times drove even the soundest sleeper [my big brother] out of bed.

After waxing, our kitchen floor was like satin. It was my sister's job. She'd start by clearing everything out and piling the chairs in the dining room. Swishing sudsy water over the floor with a mop got the dirt off. Then came rinsing with several buckets of clean water. When it was dry, she got down on hands and knees with a can of liquid wax and a cloth. Sometimes she waxed herself into the southwest corner, from which it was impossible to hop across to any of the three doors, and sat there till the wax dried. I'm sure she did it on purpose.

Today I made a sauce of the dozens of tomatoes that ripened all at once. I'm a messy cook, and the floor and work tops of my kitchen had juice and scraps all over when I was done. Because of these habits, my mother never let me cook in her kitchen. Now, I feel like I'm getting away with something every time I cook. This time of year is heavy with harvest, and even in our small city garden we feel the abundance. This morning I took in three bunches of oregano to dry, and chopped some into the sauce, along with two dozen cloves of garlic, olive oil, cilantro, a grated carrot, shiny red linoleum, soft light in the room, the moon.

2 Comments:

Blogger jo(e) said...

What sensual images.

8:07 AM  
Blogger zirafah said...

the moon and tomatoes in triangles and abundance--just lovely~

8:32 PM  

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