Kim stirred the simmering soup for the thirty-ninth time. The mixture of chicken stock and fragrant vegetables sent aromatic waves throughout the kitchen. Putting the lid back on the pot, and lowering the heat just a touch, then checking it again, she walked over to the kitchen table. She sat facing the window, looking out onto the backyard, and supported her head with her right hand, elbow on the table.
She sat like that, not really thinking of anything of any vital importance. When she was thinking at all. She drifted. In and out of thoughts of yesterday, past hurts, past moments that ate at her, forgetting from one moment to the next, a constant buzz of inactivity in her head. Time passed unknowingly.
The phone rang, bringing her to move, slowly. She ached and “ohhh” and “oyyy” and felt like nails were being driven into every joint as she attempted to stand. She sat for another ring, then inch by centimeter she got up and fetched the phone. Fumbling with the Talk button, she stood by the counter, holding on and bending slightly over.
It was her daughter, calling to wish her a Happy Mothers Day and to talk at her for the five minutes she was allotted. As was usually the case, unless her daughter was unhappy or extremely happy about something in her own life. Kim listened, the “thank you” and “nothing much” rote answers that were expected of her. Hanging up, Kim stood in the kitchen a few moments more, and put the phone in her housecoat pocket.
Lost in thought, the smell of the soup took over her attention. She lifted the lid, stirred the soup thirty-nine times, and let the aroma of the olio envelope her. She put the lid back on, checked the flame on the stove, and a second time, and went back to sit at the kitchen table.
She wondered when her daughter and sons would call to wish her a Happy Mothers Day. Then, she put her head in her right hand, elbow on the table, and stared out the kitchen window, looking at the back yard.