Tuesday, June 30, 2009

what a kitchen can make you (other than food)

It's been a long time since I've had one of those "Wow, THIS IS MY LIFE?" moments.

So I shouldn't have been surprised when it thwopped me.

I was standing at the stove, one arm akimbo, one arm holding up a bag of rice, staring out the window and waiting for the water to boil, my crazy Kiddo in a Little Swimmers disposable (awaiting tonight's swim class) wawitzing out at my feet, a brown plastic stirring spoon from my mom's old kitchen stuck in her mouth and trying to climb up the stove (it shows her her reflection, which is apparently irresistible).

I had just finished mopping up her PEE from the floor (she has a CHEMICAL BURN, which sounds so much more horrible than it is, but basically it's because of all the ammonia in her pee, and I was trying to give her booty some naked-baby-time so it could heal).

I just took a mental snapshot of my life, and WOW, when I knew I'd be 26, I didn't know it would look like this. Even if I was staying on the "schedule" I drafted at 15 of how my life was going look (which is to say: at 26 I would have a husband, a masters degree, one kid down and one on the way), somehow it was supposed to look a little bit different.

You know, like with glamorous adventures as a mom, or a kitchen view like the model kitchen I used to stare at forever when my parents would drag us to this one home store in Albany.

You don't understand--it was high ceilings, tall cabinets, an ULTRA-LUXURIOUS PANTRY with TWO SETS OF PANTRY DOORS! (where you open the outside doors and there are shelves lining them, but there is also ANOTHER set of doors with shelves and more shelves behind that...it was like an invitation to endless stockpiling), but the number one, ultimate, daydream-inducing thing about it was the view.

Ah, the view.

Outside your windows above the sink, a field of cultivated desert-field stretched out before you, undulating, rolling, and behind it, the beckoning peaks of snow-capped mountains. You could see one other house off in the distance, but you were pretty much out there on your own.

Could I write this off as just a corny stage-prop, a piece of cardboard that every store used in their "country kitchen" display?


I was living in Oregon, and I was CONVINCED that this view REALLY EXISTED over on the other side of the Cascades, over there in Eastern Oregon, and somehow this store had imported the entire kitchen from a house because they just liked it that much, but before they hauled it up, they took a picture (to stay true to the kitchen's complete experience, of course) and blew it up.

That was my life, THAT was my destiny: if I was standing at my sink making rice, I was looking out the window at THAT.

(not quite right, but not too far off)

Or I could be in my prairie town, piss-soaked Kiddo and all, trying to see the horizon beyond the houses, still stretching.

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