How many hours, how many days do you think you’ve spent staring blankly into the refrigerator, not sure exactly what you’re looking for but too starved, too lost at sea, too off your meds to know it aint in there?
Don’t you like it when the refrigerator beeps at you because you’ve had the door open longer than the average malingerer looking for the mayonnaise? Admit it. You talk back to it, don’t you?
Yes you do. Sometimes you even raise your voice.
“Don’t you beep at me you overgrown lunch box or I’ll rip out your cord and watch your ice cubes melt.”
You do know that people down the street can hear you. Don’t you?
In the old days, when a refrigerator was just an ice box, you could stand with the door open, staring at whatever as long as you wanted. Or until your father accused you in sergeant-major tones of trying to ruin the family by running up the electric bill.
Today the computer beep has replaced the father unit. But, like Pavlov’s dog, when it goes beep you still hear “…trying to ruin the family…” and immediately run for the bathroom. As the saying went in our house “Slow obedience is no obedience.”
Where do they come up with these lines?
Sometimes you try to outsmart King Fridge by shutting and then quickly reopening the door. You then rush your desperate, behind-enemy-lines search for that half-eaten éclair, the remaining hunk of asiago, or the last surviving sausage, now gone cold as a dead man’s um, thumb, but still oh-so snarfable.
Admit it, you’ve had your mind on that sausage all day.
Oh yes you have.
How many times have you found your head thrust into the fridge and in frustration cried out “There was a sausage in here. What happened to it?”
And because your head is thrust so deeply into the cold, the closest human being shouts back
“The last sausage!”
“It’s in there.”
“If it were a snake it would have bitten you.”
You know it was in there just yesterday, hiding behind that jar of pickles. The jar with no pickles left in it—just swamp-green pickle water that someone put back after grabbing the last pickle.
“Wouldn’t a snake in the refrigerator be too cold and dead to bite me?”
“There are none so blind as those who cannot see.”
Have you ever just opened the refrigerator with no concept of why? It’s there in the kitchen where it always is. You’re there moping around, thinking of complaining about life being hard.
You’re not even hungry but the muscle memory in your overworked hand suddenly yanks the door open. You gape into the cold interior, holding a hand up against the harsh, pitiless light, reminiscent of a police interrogation room in a bad cop drama.
Yet, somewhat like that faded-away old sarge, even modern refrigerators aren’t capable of divining what you’re yearning for as you stare into its innards.
Maybe it’s not that hunk of blueberry pie but someone’s blue eyes. Maybe it’s not leftover grits but just grit. Maybe it’s Rosebud, your childhood sled disguised as a strawberry smoothie.
A voice of wisdom says “It’s way past your bedtime. Time for your jammies.”
So, how many times have you ignored the voice? How many times have you said “Oh, what the hell,” and eaten the pie and the grits and hosed ‘em down with the smoothie?
Oh yes you have.
©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2015, all rights reserved.