Of all the places in my home, the kitchen is the one marked most by Jack’s memory. One would think it might be my bedroom, but there are only two things there: a photo of us taken at Foster Beach the day of the squall, and Brain Food 2009 (perpetually in the basket on my nightstand). But the kitchen, well. That’s different.
It’s where the antique percolator and teapot reside, the pair of which I bought at the tiny antique store in the same building as Jack’s condo. He and I spent many lingering afternoons there, trying on hats and stealing kisses in the back room among old fur coats and faded Look magazines. For my birthday, the one birthday of mine we ever had together, he bought me a pair of old sifters, knowing I needed one and not being able to decide which to buy.
Sifters, a percolator, a teapot: among the few things I have left of Jack. It occurred to me yesterday while free-writing that much of what happens when someone dies like Jack died remains in a fantasy realm. If he were still alive, he might still be struggling. He might be with someone else. I might already have moved on, fallen in love, did everything with someone else I wanted to do with him. The only reason I’m able to make it a grand love story? His death. Without him missing, the entire story could have been different. It could have been a great triumph, a continuation of the romance we began from Day One. Or it could have been just another relationship that didn’t work out. Maybe that’s really what it is anyhow, and I’m the one holding on.
In any case: sifters, a percolator, a teapot. They sit in my kitchen, and that’s where they’ll be staying, at least for a minute or two.