It might seem like a harmless, cheerful little room to most. Sun pours in from the double corner windows behind the sink. The fridge gleams –except for the fingerprinty parts– and hums softly against the wall. Quaint little tiles from days gone by suggest delicious things to add to a meal: chives, thyme, rosemary, mint, and offer them tied with a bow.
The room in general seems to belong to a sweet little old lady, rather than a perky, eccentric woman in her late 20s, largely due to the dusty green cupboards and the soft brown, wood-trimmed countertops. I’m in the middle of a bathroom renovation: I can’t afford to touch this kitchen yet. People have often told me that I’m like a grandmother anyway, always asking people if they are hungry, because I’ve usually just finished cooking something, or if they’ve got mittens or sunscreen, depending on the season. For now, the kitchen stays as-is, sadly.
In one of the highest traffic places of this charming little kitchen lurks a stealthy, hidden danger. I’ve been attacked by it countless times, but it still catches me off guard several times a month. The sink, as I’ve mentioned, is in the corner of the room under the double windows. I can watch birds in my lilac tree as I wash the dishes or the lettuce. I’m in big trouble if I try to get anything from under the sink.
Under the corner sinks, of course, are corner cabinets. The issue is that the latches on the cupboards, which are definitely older than me, and based on simple math, even older than my momma, have lost most of their ooomph. If you talk to my momma, please tell her that she has lost none of her ooomph. She was merely a comparison to illustrate the relative age of my cabinets. Anyway, the cabinets will close, but they often don’t stay closed. This simple but deadly fact means that opening the left cabinet will sometimes catch the edge of the right cabinet.
The next events happen in a blur of pain and cussing and finger sucking. The edge of the right side cabinet crushes the poor tender fingers of the hand that is trying to open the left cabinet. The heavy wood handle does not yield, and those little fingertips are pulverized between the (heavily painted) wood doors and the oak handle. The cat darts from the room, started by the sudden noise and the comic book style waves of visible pain emanating from the corner. A dog howls somewhere in the night.
I was going to add something about horses eating each other, but that might be over the top, even for me.
I last smashed up my fingers a week ago today. They still hurt. When it happened, I saw new colours in big spots dancing in my kitchen. My eyes watered so hard that one of my contacts fell out. I was sure I would lose the nails, but thankfully that hasn’t happened (this time).
I’m sure the kitchen is already planning its next attack. It knows I’m clumsy and that it’s only a matter of time. Actually, I think those cupboards are carnivorous, like a venus fly trap or that island in Life of Pi; they’re just waiting for fresh meat in the form of my tender phlanges. Every time I work in my kitchen, I’m in danger. Sometimes, late at night, when the house is quiet and the wind is just right, I hear a low, sinister chuckling from somewhere under my sink.
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