Archive for May 11, 2014

Another Larissa story (exclusive to my blog)

Less than two weeks before the official launch of Larissa Takes Flight: Stories, so here’s another one of her adventures to whet your appetite.

Larissa vs. the Refrigerator

┬áBecause my fridge is vindictive it dies with a half a chocolate cheesecake inside and I launch into a panic because there’s seventy bucks of food crammed in that white box, so I carry it in laundry baskets from apartment to apartment in the building, pleading for sympathy and fridge space (but please don’t eat the cheesecake). After an hour most of my provisions have found temporary lodging and I call the landlord in a culinary panic because I don’t think my fridge can be resurrected from the great electric beyond. I’m shrill enough so that she gives me permission to choose a new used fridge from the appliance store and she’ll check it out tomorrow, so I drive to the store with my philosopher boyfriend.

I know my grandma had an icebox when she was a kid, a cupboard cooled by a huge block of ice delivered twice a week, and there was a drip pan underneath to catch the melted water, but it was an age blossoming with innovation and my great-grandma was sick of drip pans. She wanted an electric fridge, but Great-Grandpa said they were too expensive and a waste. Great-Grandma did laundry for the local appliance salesperson and put the fridge on layaway, paid for it with piles of clean pants and starched shirts, then she had the man who lived five doors down install an outlet behind a wall calendar, so when the new fridge was delivered Great-Grandma hung the calendar on the handle and waited for Great-Grandpa to come home. He frowned at the new fridge’s electric hum, moved his cheese to the old icebox, and poured out the drip pan every day because he never gave into the future easily.

As we trudge the aisles of range tops and ovens, my boyfriend reminds me that keeping things cool is a luxury, and if I lived without electricity in a small Japanese fishing village this wouldn’t bother me, but I say if I lived in a small Japanese fishing village I wouldn’t know about cheesecake, I’d eat fish and rice and be lactose intolerant, and since I know about cheesecake I can’t very well forget it. My boyfriend rolls his eyes, but I’ll admit that normalcy depends on time and place, and this is why I didn’t have four kids by the age of twenty or die of cholera, but in one hundred years will people say I had it rough since they live underwater in glass bubbles that used to be New York City, looking up into the blue and dreaming of a piece of sky? But I shouldn’t be depressed as I choose my new used refrigerator, this is the price of living in this time and place and needing cheesecake. As my boyfriend and I drive home I know I don’t ask for much in the way of present luxuries, just the ability to open that door and eat last night’s cold pizza in peace.