Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The space between the stove and the cupboard

I was just making a tuna sandwich, straight from the can onto the bread, and talking with Christine, when a big oily chunk of tuna fell into that dark, narrow space between the stove and the cupboard. That space.

Dang it.

As I bent down and carefully reached my fingers into that narrow space and picked up the chunk, I felt Christine stop. I mean I felt Christine's being jerk to a stop. I wasn't looking in her direction, but I could feel a kind of frozen, prickly silence emanating from her.

I picked up the oily chunk, and turned and dropped it into the trash can. Christine immediately became a non-frozen person again, and said, "OH MY GOD I THOUGHT YOU WERE GOING TO EAT THAT!"

Christine knows her husband.

The dark space between the stove and the cupboard - it's too narrow for regular broom visits, and gets neglected - who wants to pull out the stove all the time to clean in there? - so with time it gets a serious kind of fetidly dirty. Eating food off the floor? Oh of course. All the time. I'm clumsy. But out of that space? No. Well maybe on the odd day, but not today.

But here's what I came to talk to you about today: There is a place in your head like the space between the stove and the cupboard. It is a dark place, a narrow place, a long neglected place, a fetid place. When you drop a chunk of oily tuna in that place in your head, and you bend down and pick it up, and you eat it—that's how songs are made.

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