REQUIEM FOR MY MICROWAVE
How do you cook bacon if you don’t have a microwave?
I only buy bacon when you’re here, Mom. Thus began the conversation that led to the purchase of the little box, safely hidden under a cabinet, next to the refrigerator. I discovered its demise two weeks ago after I couldn’t identify the location or source of something burned. Oven off? Check. Toaster unplugged? Check. Stove off? Check. Then I noticed the lack of light on the “magic box” in the corner. Plugged in, but no light. Alas, alas. T’was gone, and not to be revived. I’m still searching for the patron saint of gadgets to offer prayers and petitions.
I’ve never like the way microwaved food tasted. A potato cooked in one has no taste, and don’t even talk to me about preparing an entire meal in one. But after the man I call my brother accused me of trying to destroy the planet and being a bad ecologist(fighting words for sure)before he had children by turning on the oven to heat up a meal, I had to concede the usefulness of the gadget. One friend thought I’d been kidnapped and replaced with a substitute when during a phone call I said I was waiting for the frozen dinner to finish cooking in-you guessed it-the microwave. Ah, how well my friends know me.
But most of all, I accepted the gift from my mother because of her never failing kindness and generosity. She’s been gone just over eleven years, and she bought that magic box for me years before she died. My guess it was long lived because I did only use to heat up things. Mom was long-lived too. When the doctors diagnosed her multiple myloma, they said, “This cancer usually kills people your age within two years.” My mom, a Razorback from Arkansas replied, “We’ll see about that.” The cancer finally got her, but it was long after the diagnosis. The only way you can stop a Razorback is to beat them death. They don’t go down without a fight.
Have I replacedthe microwave? Not yet. But Memorial Day isn’t that far away, so I’ll wait for a sale. But even after it finds its new home, there’s no way I’ll do bacon in it(sorry, Mom)Vegetarian, you see. In the words of the late American poet John Ciardi, “Good Words to You.”