the perfectly normal and mediocre: a writing exercise
It’s happening again. The air that filled the kitchen smelled of scrambled eggs, as soon as I closed the door. It smelled so delicious, that I instantly yearned for a good hearty meal. I searched for eggs in the fridge, to prepare the dish. Surprisingly, there were none. I had bought a cardboard pack of eight eggs. That had been yesterday. No matter where I looked, there were no eggs left in the fridge, or in the other cupboards. I retraced my steps, in an attempt to force myself to remember. Nothing. I couldn’t think of a place I could have misplaced them.
The eggs kept not being in the fridge. Once a month, the kitchen did this. I’ve forgotten to mark it down into the calendar on the wall, to look for a pattern. There was one. I was certain.
It would smell like a mouthwatering dish, that I just couldn’t prepare for myself, because the ingredients were missing. Even if I had purchased them the day before, or used some of it an hour or even minutes earlier. Poof. It wasn’t there, as soon as the scent of the phantom dish flooded the kitchen.
My stomach growled. It always made me hungry. Today, I haven’t even been peckish, I just came in to do the dishes. So I did what any sensible woman would do, left the kitchen, and closed the door behind me to go. Distraction was, what I needed now. The garden it was.
On my way through the living room, the shadow ran up the stairs to slam the attic door shut. I didn’t jump this time, I saw the notion from the corner of my eye, and have been expecting it. The kitchen and the attic were a team. Under the roof, it was going to be noisy for hours. It would sound like a marching band silently exercising their steps to a chaotic choreography. How? Why? I haven’t figured that one out yet.
The garden had always been on my side. Soothing. Refreshing. The rain was pausing, but the weather forecast had predicted three days of rain and cold. On my way to the cherry tree, I grabbed my red knitted shawl and dragged the wet wooden sunbed down towards the tree’s dark green crown. In retrospect, that hadn’t been a good idea, since the wind would shower me with the collected water from the branches and leaves. But I needed distraction from the scrambled eggs that kept my mind busy with pushing away the hunger. The wet yoga pants and my t-shirt did their part in reminding me of cold and wind. I wasn’t the one to shiver. As if to enjoy the imaginary sun on a summer morning, I laid down and looked up the crown and stem. I almost expected the grey sky swirling above, but I was greeted by the night sky. Starry, with half of the moon twinkling through the leaves. Its blue light made the inner parts of the cherry tree look black. Almost black. The unripe cherries, pale by day and night, sucked up the moon’s glow. The wind whispered and tree showered me with droplets of rain, with doomed branches and cherries.
The hunger scurried away from the changing sky above the garden’s biggest tree. I was in awe and didn’t feel the dampness of my clothes, the chill that the wind brought, so I wrapped myself into the knitted fabric. Shoulders and neck, my eternal sore spots. My hair, wet with the remnants of the morning rain, clung to my cheeks, hugged my shoulders. I liked how the brown hues became black, almost blue. The strands of hair curled to waves, then to oblong spirals. I felt them wiggle at the tips.
I looked up again. The cherry tree still reached up into the night sky. I sat and watched until I was overwhelmed by the urge to climb up that tree, all the way up to the top. To touch the nest perched up there, that was threaded with gold, silver, and copper threads, with my very own fingertips. To sit in that elegantly bowing top branch, to peek into it. To observe the fluffy white chick sleeping in it. It seemed abandoned, but I knew it wasn’t. The lightning bird was never too far from its nest, up in the crown of the tallest tree in a garden… Probably any garden.
I stopped myself. I’d never make it back down.
The roses waved and danced in the breeze, their scent hitting me over the face. Sweet and strong. The petals had withstood the rain, the flower heads bobbed heavily, with water. This garden had all sorts of distracting oddities.
pic by author