Quiet Rabbit~Part 2
January 2, 2012 § 2 Comments
“I was thinking purple.”
“Purple?” I responded as Carin looked at birthday cakes on slick pages. The magazine cost $6.95 and I only knew that because he would ask that. If he caught us looking at it, he would want to know.
“I can do purple.” I responded to my daughter. She dropped the magazine to her lap and looked at me like I was a naïve child.
“Not like the picture you can’t.” She started flipping the pages loudly to further communicate her disdain.
“Says who?” Something in my very nature irritated my daughter from a very young age. As a mother, I found it endearing.
“Me. It never looks like the picture. Don’t bother.” Closing the magazine, her knees met her elbows as she looked off forlornly. I held in my giggles at her dramatics.
“Just buy the rainbow sprinkle of whatever.” She plopped the magazine on the counter and wandering into the living room. I remained seated on the counter. Dinner smelled like sage and apples. I smelled like vinegar, like brine. The TV played like a laugh track under the sound of the dishwasher.
“I want another baby.” I said to the empty room. Carin remained an only child. I glanced at my surroundings while thinking of calendars and contentment. And boredom. And things, like chances, missed.
The kitchen was recently remodeled. The old farm house had come partially revitalized. But when they bought it, she had insisted they do the kitchen and, of course, the special room downstairs.
I heard Mike and his heavy boots crunching the ice on the driveway. An unknown voice accompanied normal sounds. The screen door squeaked open, marking their progress. It stayed open just long enough to tell me there were two people entering. The slap shut confirmed it. A stranger wouldn’t know. You needed to guide it shut. The dogs barked and the heavy door from the back porch puffed air into the big kitchen as the men entered.
“Smells good.” Mike said, starting to pull off his layers. In the late winter, it was too cold to take off our coats on the back porch. I jumped off the counter to help him.
This was a routine we had developed over the 10 years we were married. Truthfully, I loved it, subservient although it may have seemed. He would first drape his scarf on my arms, the smell of his soap strong like he had just showered. Then he would slouch out of his coat, a black Carhart that was well loved. Next, various sweatshirts, their hoods frozen from his sweat or caked with snow from a storm.
Finally he would sit at the large bohemian butcher’s block table. With numb fingertips, he would make a show of trying to untie his yellow work boots. I would tease him and then pat my thighs, saying;
“Put ‘em up.” The treads would leave a damp signature on my pant leg.
I did not do that the day you came, though. I would not perform such an intimate act in front of a stranger, obviously.
Instead, I turned to you and you smiled as we waited for Mike to introduce us.
“I made mushroom stuffing.” I said, to make the moment less awkward. Mike brushed wood shavings off his shoulders.
“This is Finn. I worked with him on the Adler job, and we liked him so,” My husband smiled at you, “He is helping me over at the church. Finn, this is my wife, Mary”
I beg your forgiveness at this point. But it’s the strangest thing; our first words are lost to me. It is like you didn’t speak. Yet you sat down and removed your boots to protect my rugs. I made you a plate, and then another. Pouring wine, you grazed my arm with yours. I remember these details, but not your words. You entered my life, a quiet rabbit.