Diary

A Quiet Domestic Miracle

15 February 2014 | Diary

Sunday morning had drifted into our lives like a bowling ball down a metal garbage shoot.

Doing my best to solidify after a night of merriment, I’d been flopped upon the chaise for an hour, leafing through a book that I hoped would help me to understand the antics of sparrows.

Over on the other couch, Samara was doing embroidery.

“What are you embroidering?” I asked.

“The truth,” she said.

Samara is a witty lady. She’s a snappy dresser too. And she has a fearsome left hook.

Suddenly, she stood up with what I took to be a modicum of determination and declared that if I wanted her, she’d be fixing a snack.

This was unusual. I usually take the lead on snacks, because I’m inevitably the first to cross the finish line when it comes to reaching an appetite, but also because I’m the family cook and I know where everything lives in the kitchen.

“Okay,” I said.

She went over to the little kitchenette and began taking things out of the fridge, lining them up on the counter like a parade of delicious soldiers.

I did not bristle at the things in my territory being moved about.

She produced the tub of fake vegan butter and what remained of a loaf of bread.

“Can I make you something too?” she offered.

“Why not?” I said, even though I was a good half hour away from needing anything. But here I was, reading about sparrows and being offered a snack. Who was I to turn it down? Live for the now, I thought.

“Would you prefer jam, marmalade, Marmite, hummus or just plain old bread and butter?” she asked.

I thought it over for a second or two without taking my eyes off the book about sparrows.

“Cheese,” I said, pushing my luck.

A cheese sandwich was quite an upgrade to the level of snack she’d been offering. When all is said and done, a cheese sandwich is basically lunch.

“Cheese?” she said.

“Yes,” I said, “the fancy goat’s cheese.”

A pause.

“And some crunchy lettuce?”

“That would be nice,” I said.

“Okay,” she said, “one sandwich with crunchy lettuce and the cheese of a fancy goat.”

But then:

“We don’t have enough bread. There are only two slices left.”

“That’s okay,” I said. “You should have the last two slices yourself and use one of the skinny burger buns for mine.”

“Burger buns?”

“Yes,” I said.

“Okay,” she said.

One moment I’d been reading a book. The next, I was having a pretty serious cheese sandwich hand-delivered to my seat.

I felt like Eugene Polley must have felt when he came up with the idea for the television remote.

Suddenly there was a sandwich. And I was eating it. It was a quiet, domestic miracle.