Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Beginnings of Kitchen Widow

This is how the story goes: Girl meets boy. Girl asks boy: "What do you do?" Boy says: "I'm a chef." Girl thinks: "Jackpot. A man who cooks."

They combat opposite schedules with late nights at the restaurant bar and lazy weekend mornings. Girl thinks: "He has his time, I have mine. It's perfect."

Girl and boy get married, buy a house, have two kids. Suddenly, opposite schedules lose their luster. Boy sees head chef more than wife and kids. Girl and boy become the proverbial ships passing in the night. Boy works a lot, and girl is sometimes bitter.

But girl watches boy mature as a chef, wax poetic about beautiful cheeses and slow-cooked meats, and offer up his heart to the kitchen deities who are neither patient nor sympathetic. Girl realizes that his organic make-up is less blood and bone than it is beurre blanc sauce and the cumulative sweat of generations of hardened, fanatically devoted cooks who sneak toasted hamburger buns in the fifteen seconds between tickets so waiting guests can savor a precise sculpture of meat, starch, veg and sauce.

Girl knows that not all who wield the knife are artists, but that boy is one of them, and her heart softens. Girl realizes that boy's pride in his craft widens her love. Girl accepts status as Kitchen Widow. Boy continues to work a lot, and as girl and the kids eat pasta with marinara sauce for the tenth time that month, girl eagerly waits for the precious thirty minutes of conversation she and boy will have after the kitchen has been closed, wrapped and scrubbed.

Girl thinks: "Still a jackpot."

No comments:

Post a Comment