Monday, July 11, 2011

Cleaning the Garage

July 11, 2011

Stella runs past me quickly, quietly—the pads of her feet barely touching the maple floor. 

A few minutes ago, she was in the garage with me.  Hiding in behind the rolled up tent, I heard her as her body scraped against the fabric.  She knew I knew she was there.  I ignored her.  But Sadie and I were gone for a week.  Now Stella is “she who will not be ignored.”  The hook of her claw caught in the sleeve of my sweater.  Her movement is so fine, the claw stopped before it met skin.

I am reorganizing those things that I should sell or give away.  I have no use for any of it.  Except a lot of what is in there was yours. 

There are three things I am not particularly good at—giving in, giving up and giving things away.  Each box is a confrontation, a requirement that I do at least one of those things. 

I sit at the opening of the garage, a Cuisinart waffle iron in my lap.  You lived in Virginia Beach when I bought this for you.  I brought my waffle recipe, I had sent you maple syrup from my trip to Vermont, and I wanted to teach you how to make waffles.  So you could make them for your children, and their children.

Finding the waffle iron became a mission.  I thought you could find them in any kitchen department.  Apparently not.  At least not on that day in February 2006.  Sadie sat in the back seat of Scott’s Dodge Durango as he drove us to WalMart, Target, SteinMetz and finally Sears.  The next morning, you and I made waffles in your little kitchen apartment.  We ate them with lots of butter and warm maple syrup, until all of us, including Sadie, were sick enough to go back to bed.

I cannot eat waffles anymore.  The wheat upsets my stomach.  I should sell this at a yard sale.  Or give it to someone who will use it.  Except, I did make waffles again recently.  Stephie and her boyfriend came to have breakfast with Steve and I. 

I cannot get rid of the waffle iron.  I put it back on the shelf. Along with other memories of you.

I am full of them, these memories.  They defy the boxes I try to put them in.  They refuse reorganization. 

They run across my heart like the pads of Stella’s feet barely touching the maple floor.