I was chopping up a bell pepper and he moved a chair into the kitchen, because the conversation couldn’t wait. I had seen it coming, but strangely, couldn’t simply sit and talk to him. Instead, I swirled some eggs and milk together, added salt and pepper, and put a skillet on the stove. As I dabbed a little butter on it, I said, “Do you mind if I cook while we talk?”
It wasn’t so strange, in retrospect. No one can hurt me in the kitchen. It’s my domain. When I am there, I am indestructible, and I knew this, as the butter melted on the pan. I’ve never scrambled eggs properly before, but today, as we delved through miscommunications and misunderstandings, the eggs turned out perfectly. I threw some mozzarella and the chopped peppers into the skillet as he sat there, flustered.
He noted that I didn’t seem as upset as he did, as I popped a hulled strawberry into my mouth. I was upset, as a matter of fact, but being upset is different from being hurt. It’s hard to explain, hard to believe that something as simple as a warm coffee cake cooling on the wire rack is enough to give one the sense of invincibility. I don’t pretend to understand it.
But no wonder he didn’t eat a bite. And yet, if the kitchen is my turf, if I am omnipotent there, then something else is also true- if you don’t eat my coffee cake, oh, well then we are most certainly through.