Poetry & Prose

Ritualistic Remedies

The cold winter wind blows through the crack in the kitchen window as I stand over the sink, watching the snow fall into place on the lawn outside.

The kitchen feels bigger these days, and even more so in the morning. I walk to the refrigerator and pull out the dozen carton of eggs. There are only seven eggs left, which are enough for Rosa and me this morning, but I will have to take a walk to the corner store later to get more for tomorrow morning, a nice opportunity to dust off my cane and work these new hips.

I pull out a bowl, a fork, and the blend of seasonings Rosa loves to make eggs with. I crack each egg open on the corner of the kitchen counter, one light tap, followed by a harder tap. Rosa was always convinced this is the best way to crack an egg.

I empty the cracked eggs into the bowl, using only half of the yolks. Rosa and I both have high cholesterol, so we tend to watch how many yolks we use, especially at this age. I add the seasonings. A dash of paprika, two dashes of garlic powder, a pinch of salt, and what we believed was our little secret, a splash of milk, 2%.

I whisk the eggs, careful not to beat them too much. Mid-whisk, I remember to grease a pan and turn on the stovetop, which I find neat because even though I have been trying to make Rosa’s eggs every day for four months now, I always forget to turn the stove on.

Rosa has a mysterious perfection to her egg scrambling, not too soft, not too firm, and every day I feel like I get closer to recreating it. When the eggs are done, I separate them onto two plates, placing them on our little dining table in our usual spots. I grab the loaf of wheat bread from the fridge and head over to the toaster. The draft from the window kicks up a bit though, so I walk back to the dining table, pull the cardigan off the back of my chair, and put it on.

Walking back to the toaster, I place three slices in, two for Rosa, one for myself. I stand by the toaster, waiting for the bread to be done. I’ve grown to love the time it takes bread to toast. It gives my mind a healthy amount of time to wander, which is hard to come by these days.

When the bread finishes I grab all three slices and butter them all, putting a bit extra on Rosa’s slices. She could never let go of her too-buttered-toast.

I get a little nervous before trying the eggs, as usual. I wonder if this is the day that they hold up to Rosa’s masterpiece. I try the eggs, they taste good. Very good actually, but they’re too salty, just like yesterday’s, and a bit too firm, reminding me of last Sunday’s eggs. They might be tasty, but these are not Rosa’s eggs. Better luck tomorrow.

I finish my meal, then swap my empty plate with Rosa’s untouched plate, and start eating hers. I do not like to let food go to waste, so I have made a habit of eating the food I make for Rosa as well. The last few bites always feel like I am forcing it a bit, but I always finish, always.

Afterwards, I gather our plates, and load them into our dishwasher, for which I am quite grateful. Doing dishes was never my strong suit. I head out the kitchen, and down the hallway to the back of our house where the bedroom is. I walk in, the morning news is on our small television. Somehow the news seems to sound the same every day, but it’s a comforting sound. I get into bed, which always hurts my hips more than it should, and turn my focus to the news.

After some time, the news turns into background noise. I look out the bedroom window, and the snow is a clean blanket, tucking the fading green grass neatly into bed. After some time, my mind wanders, and I drift to sleep.

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