The kitchen was your temple, and the dishes were your redemption. You spent hours in the kitchen trying to calm your nerves, and this irritated you considering those ugly gender stereotypes. No one did the dishes in your house except you; everyone left their cups and bowls just for you, as a favor, knowing the clock was ticking down on the bomb in your nervous system. You’ve worn down the floorboards all around the counters with your excessive pacing. That mostly came when the dishes were done, the rest of the kitchen was spotless and your blood was still rattling all the way up to your brain. One day you tried cooking, tried a soup, but it tasted bitter and there was so much pepper it made our eyes tear while we coughed into near-death fits. You then added more pepper.
“What’s got your nerves set off?” Mom would ask you. “You’re running yourself a fever, you’re making yourself sick! All this worrying.”
“I can’t stop thinking,” you told her.
“You’re thinking too much. You gotta stop thinking about every little thing like that. Just live and go about things as the rest of us,” Mom prescribed. “All that deep thinkin’ will have you no better off,” she said before she slouched in her chair in the family room. All the lamps were turned off to better see the TV blinking, mostly with advertisements.
You thought about your arms and legs and how anything came to be anything- about why anything deserved to be anything. You thought how it could be possible that you stood on the Earth and how easily you could have missed existence. You thought about why no one else liked to think of these things and how you understood that your head was a locked room. You thought about where someone hid the key. Or maybe you did, and forgot where you left it.
You never reached conclusions, just multiple possibilities. Although you never liked certainty, its what you always searched for. You wanted just one right answer for yourself- what you deserve.
The floorboards broke beneath your feet and you fell through. You cracked your head and saw your blood in small puddles all around your limbs. After the commercial, we got up to see what happened (quite honestly, we can’t say we were surprised). You paced yourself into a near-fatal accident. We called the ambulance. You died yourself red as you lay looking up at the hole in the ceiling.
“I found the key,” you told us. You fell asleep.
We looked for the key you were talking about, but still, to no avail.