Wednesday, January 25, 2006

boiling water

The kettle sputters on the back burner, and I did remember to turn on the BACK burner this time.  Usually, I am not as aware—at least not until the house smells of burnt whatever-is-on-the-burner-this-time and I come in to find the front burner red hot and my water still ice cold.  But tonight, surprisingly enough, I have enough of my faculties, despite a head full of something resembling half-dried rubber cement, to boil water.  But just barely.

My mind is elsewhere tonight.  Or, rather, my mind is everywhere tonight.  Thoughts race through my head like satellite channels at the whim of a bored housewife clinging to the remote as if it were her only lifeline.  I can’t stay with one long enough to really get into the plot before I am off to the next.  But I’m learning a lot about decorating in the process.

Rumbling comes from the kitchen, alerting me that the boiling point is near.  I am distracted by watching my wedding ring slide around my finger to the left, pulled by the weight of my husband’s grandmother’s diamond.  Over and over I set it upright, and over and over it twists as I type.  Quite a change from two years ago, when I couldn’t get it on or off.  Again, I change the channel.

click Can I really keep the weight off?  click  Did I spend enough time with my son today?  click Why did I schedule myself so late tomorrow night?  click What will the teacher have to say? click What if we don’t hear back by Friday?  click How will this project come together?  click  Did I remember to email the coordinator?  click What are we doing this weekend?  click What color should we paint the living room?  click Are we REALLY ever going to paint the living room?  click The scream of the kettle calls and I pry my hands from the remote, all thoughts momentarily focused in the direction of my stomach.

I pour the contents of my 25-calorie diet hot chocolate into my favorite mug, noticing as if for the first time the number of chips around its edges.  Hunting out the cocoa powder and artificial sweetener, I prepare to turn my 25-calorie diet hot chocolate into approximately 40-calorie hot chocolate.  As I stir the contents, my mouth begins to water in pathetic anticipation.  The kettle is returned to the burner, promptly resuming its hissing and humming as it issues miniature clouds out its spout and into our kitchen.  I breathe deeply and grab my mug, trying in vain not to spill anything.

Settling back into the love seat, steaming mug of comfort in hand, my mind threatens to return to a rolling boil as well.  Tension bubbles up within looking for release—I need to let off some steam.  Or, better yet, perhaps I need to be removed from the burner for a while—allowed to cool down to room temperature so as to not entirely evaporate.  I am accustomed to boiling—the screaming of the kettle is the soundtrack of my inner life.  But not tonight, I decide after some consideration.  Tonight, I think am going to play Vivaldi.

I kick my shoes off, leaning back to put my feet up and sinking three inches further into the couch.  The remote lays at my feet as I pick up Reading Lolita in Tehran.  Perhaps I will finish it tonight.  Or perhaps I won’t.  But for now, at least, all burners are turned to off, and I am cooling down.    

4 comments:

Julie Morrison said...

Wow, that was just great! I am so inspired to write for two more hours. Glad to know that me head full of popcorn thoughts isn't the only one!

danthress said...

click Can I really keep the weight off? click Did I spend enough time with my son today? click Why did I schedule myself so late tomorrow night? click What will the teacher have to say? click What if we don’t hear back by Friday? click How will this project come together? click Did I remember to email the coordinator? click What are we doing this weekend? click What color should we paint the living room? click Are we REALLY ever going to paint the living room? click The scream of the kettle calls and I pry my hands from the remote, all thoughts momentarily focused in the direction of my stomach.

lorie, this is the hook to an amazing poem. the CLICK motif is perfect for reading out loud.

[hint, hint]

lorie said...

And where, exactly, would I read that? (wink)

Michaela said...

"Thoughts race through my head like satellite channels at the whim of a bored housewife clinging to the remote as if it were her only lifeline"

Gosh I love this visual! i wasn't even planning to write today but now i want to! haha..good stuff cutie pie! man!