Lonely In A Florida Kitchen Morning


Lonely in a Florida Kitchen Morning

The words “low fat” do not feel like friendly greetings but name calling–hoots from the side lines of cabinets, shelves, fridge–they shout from every vantage point–”low” a descriptor of her brain state; “fat” an appellation for her personal container.

Though in her case, it’s more a heaviness of mind than body; too many unloseable layers.

As she shifts through the cupboard, “natural” clangs in.  The straight faces of the boxes frankly amaze her–she, who knows perfectly well that cardboard does not shout in nature–

“Whole,” sneers the double-plasticked.

She remembers apples.

They too are body-bagged.  Still, a burst of fellow feeling lifts her as she bends into the crisper to grab one, crunch.

Or rather, not crunch.  But as something like sustenance syrups down her throat, her sense of good and evil is also re-affirmed.

She feels like an interloper withdrawing, she and her prize, as if she should back away,  as if, like a time traveler, she should do everything in reverse.  She hears at her back the silent fury of the “fiber,” the glares of the cornered cellophane–all those individual wraps of what were once food stuffs–so angry–as if she were the one who had labeled them–

And then, just as she steps back to the spare bedroom,  she catches at the roof of the neighboring house, a pane of sky.  How is it  so perfectly blue, so blankly solidly blue?  How does that happen here?  Almost every day?

She goes back to the counter, reaches deep into one of the boxes.  Breakfast cereal from a pseudo health-foody company, bought, she suspects, especially for her visit, or perhaps, one of her prior visits.

The oats and all the other stuff that make it–that is, what is left of oats and all the other stuff that make it–are shaped into little tan hearts.  Too sweet, her mind says, as she crunches, too refined.  She reaches down for another handful, and then crunching, another.


Here’s a little sketch done while traveling.  I am having a hard time posting, and so although I was in part inspired by Shanyn’s wonderful prompt on dVerse Poets Pub, about looking out a window, I am not linking this anywhere as I fear I will have a hard time returning comments.  The photo is of a Florida sky, but not as clear a one as that described in the piece. 

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10 Comments on “Lonely In A Florida Kitchen Morning”

  1. ds Says:

    I can relate to this, in a backhanded way, as I just cleaned the refrigerator of the last vestiges of holiday “stuffs” including the tofu & soy-based pasta left behind by my daughter that will not last until her next visit…As for the heart cookies, that is sweet, in more ways than one. Enjoy your travels!

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks so much, DS – they are meant to be cereal so may fix. I am trying to enjoy–it is so pretty in Florida–I have to be involved with work all next week, but there will be a pool! k

  2. Kay Davies Says:

    The sky looks lovely to me, and I wish I could relate to your search for healthy food, but I’m still at the wishing stage: wishing I could like healthier food. On the other hand, I’m losing my taste for meat, and often just eat vegetables when I’m home alone. The dog loves vegetables, too.
    I enjoyed your sketch. It made me laugh and made me think.

  3. hedgewitch Says:

    Your personification–or perhaps symbolizing–of the food packaging here is just genius, k. Amusing, yes, but also rather intimidating, or sinister, that feel of every word on the box being judgmental of something, some one, oneself…well, they *are* labels, after all…but no one else would have conceived and presented them in quite this way. And one is always lonely in someone else’s home, I think, unless they are truly on a plane of affinity not many of us reach. This projects that rather alienated even as welcomed feeling clearly. Glad you posted–miss your writing.

  4. I so hear you about all of the refined and packaged stuff that poses as food…….I LOVE “too many unloseable layers”…….yup. Me, too. And a blue sky morning seems fantastical to those of us under gray winter skies…………great write.

  5. brian miller Says:

    smiles…i like how you tour the cupboard a bit…how we label our food and how it makes us feel…most of our stuff is so processed…we become so processed…apples…i love fresh fruit…would rather go that way but i know the comfort of cereall…smiles…

  6. ayala Says:

    🙂 a good capture, Karin.

  7. Jamie Dedes Says:

    Wow, Karin, I enjoyed this so much. Tomorrow I am going to post the link on my Compassionate Lifestyle (I know. The name leaves much to be desired) Facebook page. Something everyone can relate re: food, body-image, self-esteem … and just damn good writing. Bravo!

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Hey Jamie– thanks so much. I felt when editing it that I was making it worse and worse so I am so happy to get your kind feedback. Thanks so much. I really enjoyed you “Red” link. A wonderful poet. K.


  8. Steve King Says:

    Great imagination here, building a narrative out of the smallest of details. We’re all doing something uniquely our own under the same sky. Don’t we all feel like interlopers in someone else’s house, even alone in the morning, when there aren’t others to insert their presence? A wonderful essay.

    Steve K.

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