Discarding the newspaper he walks into the kitchen, opens the cabinet, pulls a steel dubba (indian canister) and peers inside. Not that. Pulls another. Nope. Finally, roasted almonds! Grabs a handful and pops two in his mouth. Puts the dubba back and continues rummaging through the gleaming row.
In the adjacent room, she cocks her ear at sounds in the kitchen, looks up from her cross-stitch and asks loudly, “What are you doing?”
He: “Nothing,” and continues searching
He: “Just looking for a snack”
She: “Are you hungry?”
He: “No! No! Just want a snack” and continues rummaging. Yes, dried fruits! Tosses the remaining almonds into his mouth and grabs a fistful of dried tropical mix.
She: “Sounds like you are hungry? I can peel an orange for you?
He: “Uuhh? Yeah sure!” Ahaa, he spies the ginger orange granola. Yumm!
He grabs a cereal bowl and pours out a half bowl of Oat Crunch cereal. Pulls out a spoon, tilts the dubba and scoops out three heaping teaspoons of granola on top. Grabs the container of raisins and heaps out two teaspoons of black raisins. “Now thats a cereal!” he mumbles as he carries the bowl over by the refrigerator.
She walks into the kitchen, “You must be hungry. I will peel the orange.”
Still looking with pride at his cereal bowl he mumbles “Yeah, sure.” Opens the refrigerator and pours milk over the raisins till the bowl is nearly full.
He turns on the stereo and pops in Buena Vista Social Club. Oblivious to the world around him, he savors each spoonful of the cereal. To get the remaining little bit of milk, he raises the bowl to his lips and slurps loudly as the last molecule of milk is drawn onto his lips. He smacks his lips and considers licking the last crumb of granola stuck on the far side of the bowl.
She has peeled the orange and flops the plate in front of him.
She: “Urgh! Why do you have to eat like that! You are not a kid anymore” she scolds.
He looks at her, puzzled, and shrugs.
He: “I don’t think I can eat the orange. I just ate cereal. You know the orange and milk don’t mix.”
Already headed out of the kitchen, she stops. Spins around, “You asked me to peel it for you!”
He: “B b b b but I just ate cereal, … with milk”
She pulls her chin down closer to her chest and her forehead leans slightly forward. She peers at him through huge eyes. Her nostrils flared. Her brow wrinkled.
He feels the laser-like gaze burrowing into his forehead. Hindu lore is rife with instances of God Shiva turning his enemies to ash with one glance from his ‘third eye.’ He realizes what the subject must have felt an instance before being vaporized.
He reconsiders, “I am still hungry, I will eat the orange!” He grabs the plate and settles next to her on the couch. He pops a few pieces in his mouth and tries to make nice. “This is a very good orange. Where did you get it.”
She returns the deadly gaze. Utters nothing.
He eats a few more pieces, “you want to go for a walk later? (pause) We can go by Dunkin Donuts and get a hazelnut latte? … We can share?”
After a long pause, she yields, “let me finish this first.”
Moral of the story: If you want to ransack the kitchen, do it very quietly!