Friday, August 28, 2009

Dishwashing

I was cleaning up the kitchen and loading the dishwasher. We had pancakes for dinner and I had spilled flour all over the sink, which then mixed with water.
I had a flashback of being a child..about 9 or so sitting in our dining room. Our table was white painted wrought iron and had a round glass top. The chairs were the same but had avocado green cushions. The legs of that table started skinny at the bottom and widened up to a V to meet the table. Once, when I was away overnight, my Siamese cat, Snowy, fell off one of the chairs and caught a hind leg in a table leg. He broke it. I came home and my mom told me, I was 6 and I cried hysterically. He was at the vet, and was brought home later that day with a cast. That silly cat managed to get that cast off several times.
In my memory Im at that table. Im working on a school project and realized I was out of glue. I knew Dad would not be too happy if I told him this so late into the evening, so I mixed up some water and flour to make a glue, as I had remembered Dad once told me one could do that. It worked well enough, but I do remember the teacher not liking my project and I got a low grade on it.

I cleaned up the flour goo in my sink and loaded up the dishwasher. The motions of what I was doing reminded me of my mother. I used to love to sit in the kitchen in the late evening as a teen, and young 20 something and watch her clean the kitchen. She would finally be starting to wind down from her day of working, her face would start to lose the tension she had been carrying, her hair would be falling in her face, and she would be smiling. It was a good time to catch her to have conversations...or just to be in her presence. I found it comforting.

Tonight I wondered why it was such a comfort to be with her while she did this. I went back to early childhood memories. I remembered a light above the sink, a yellow portable dishwasher that I liked to sit on, a green refrigerator with an 8 track player on top of it. There would be mom rinsing dishes, and singing to the music. I would either be sitting on the dishwasher or on the table. Most nights she would play the soundtrack from The Rose, and when that song came on she would pick me up and dance with me. There was a "kitchen witch" that hung above the sink..for some reason my mom always had one. That time was our time together each night.

One of my last memories I have of my mom from when I was a child, around the age of 6, is one of those nights. We had our usual evening...but she seemed distant. A few nights before I asked her if she and Dad were divorcing..I had watched an episode of Silver Spoons and that was the theme..divorced parents. She seemed shocked and said "NO, where on EARTH did you even come up with that??" That last night though...she held me tight during The Rose, and she started to cry, and she told me that they were getting a divorce. She left shortly thereafter, and I didnt see her very much for a few years...just weekends here and there while she was in a halfway house. When I was 12 I did move back in with her...and every evening sat with her in the kitchen as she cleaned.
However...still to this day...I cannot listen to The Rose without bursting into tears.

2 comments:

MidnightCafe said...

This was simply, beautifully written. Thanks for sharing it.

Ron said...

to see someone in honest thought is beautiful...thank you