The Kitchen: Part 1

Yesterday was weird. Not exactly bad, but weird. My classroom performance was different. It was below the usual standard, but not for the normal reasons I am sometimes not able to do my job the way I want to. I wasn’t particularly stressed or triggered. I could concentrate on what I was doing.

Someone was intruding. This someone seemed to want to just watch the students to see what they would do. And not direct as much. Not enforce the rules so much. Just watch. Which is a problem. Especially the bit about rules. Consequently, I ended up having to scold and nag and make some threats to make the students behave, which worked in the short term to keep us all moving forward and relatively sane, but it is not the way to manage your class on a long-term basis. It’s pretty much the worst way to do it, in fact, aside from perhaps rage and emotional assaults.

Consistency is so hard when you are in parts, but this was a different kind of consistency problem. I wasn’t switching out of stress, but for some other reason I don’t really know.

So that was weird.

This is morning is weird too.

I didn’t wake up overwhelmed with grief. One of the twins said, “It’s morning. We like morning. It peaceful.” Great. At least someone is happy, and off we went to wash the dishes I left last night in the sink out of laziness and the slim excuse of there being no running water.

After a while, something started to hit me. I mean, really hit me, like a softball in the face. I just missed Nata. I think it had something to do with the kitchen, or the sink. I keep being startled by the normal bits of our lives. How can I have kitchen memories? How can the sink remind me of anything?

When was there time for all of this? But evidently there was, and I have to remember that sometimes I was there at Natalya’s hotel for most of the night, or all day, and although a lot of it was spent doing unthinkable things, it was also not entirely structured. And people have to eat. They have to wash dishes.

It seems to me what I miss is Natalya coming to stand behind me. It seems to me she sometimes put her arms around me that way and kissed my neck as I was washing up. I couldn’t really cook—I’m still not a great cook—and so I mostly did the washing up.

It’s not really weird that I remember this, or that I miss it. The weird part is that the memory is so strong it feels assaultive and it’s accompanied by an intense suicidal urge. Well, one weird part. The other weird part is it feels it is coming from the other side of a wall, which is something I haven’t felt in a long time.

Anyway, now I am trying to wash my hair. Which is interesting, because there is no water in the toilet these days. We are generally having water issues here in Y-town because they are doing maintenance, but in the mornings and often in the evenings there is water in the kitchen again. Just not in the toilet, where the hot water heater is that makes such a lovely warm bucket bath.

So I’d best be off.



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