Alone In The City

So hard to find a neighborhood this cute and sweet, a home so warm and loving. She would fill it with the scent of rising bread soon. She set the box of grandma’s jelly glasses on the counter, dropped off by Mom to replace the disposable plastic cups she kept washing and reusing, though they warped in the ancient dishwasher.

She went to the silverware drawer for a knife to slash the packing tape when she noticed the cabinet. Well now, why did Mom put the cast iron in the pantry, when she stores it in the cabinet under the silverware at home?

She opened the doors, wincing at a waft of must from soggy boxes that seemed to have soaked up many leaks over the years, corners caked with unidentifiable paper glued to the paint with age. Something that was maybe the remains of old rat’s nests, swept out but never scrubbed, the muck allowed to go wild, creeping slowly across the walls.

How had they missed this? Her parents and brothers had all pitched in when she moved, including following her mother’s demand they scrub the home from top to bottom before unloading the truck. She herself had gone over each room when unpacking and reorganizing several times. She’s been here two months. How had she not seen this?

Her discomfort at her lack of attention passed. She simply rolled up her sleeves, and started scrubbing. Sticky rubber clung to the hairs on her arm, sweat leaked into her eye, peroxide sizzled her worries away, and she forgot about it.

It was months before baking passed through her mind again. She almost remembered the desire to fill her home with the scent of baked goods had passed through her mind before. She cleared a spot out in her pantry and filled it with flour, sugar, packets of flash dried yeast. Pastry spices as well, the cinnamon, allspice, and vanilla that grace the cabinets of every truly loved home.

She never remembered that she had done this as well, had unpacked everything before opening her mother’s delivered heirloom glasses, right before she found the cabinet, just after the thing skittered from one side of the kitchen to the other. The scent of spices was so pleasing after the scent of mold so long, it could not resist.

The kitchen served many young lives in the heart of that city. Lives that soon distorted, fell apart, their hopes faltering and growing weaker, while the shadows in the home grew stronger. Lives soon shrouded in isolation and growing instability as they fail to cope with growing pressures. Eventually, foreclosure came to them as well, keeping the price down so that another young life could afford it. Young lives are drawn to the warm, comfortable home like moths, a haven so cute and sweet in the cold and unforgiving city.

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