I was maybe seven or eight, I don’t remember. I just remember that we had linoleum tiling on the floor. The tiling went from the kitchen to where the kitchen/dining room met living room, and then the tiling became carpet. I remember the carpet as brown and fuzzy and thick, and it liked to hide things like my colored beads and hair pins.
When the brown carpet got wet, it dried spiky and rougher than it was before. I always hated when someone spilled water or liquids on that carpet, because I knew that it would never be the same again. The carpet would transform into some sort of creepy new carpet,and it was a carpet I feared and despised.
Anyway, back to the kitchen.
My parents would argue, and occasionally someone would throw something or storm out or not talk to the other. I took that time to pull my mom’s skirt and ask if she could buy me chocolate chips or flour or something so I could make cookies. At this time, my mom drove this sky blue Honda two door, and I remember I loved to squeeze in-between the front seat and back to fit through the slot.
Because she wanted to get out of that emotional labyrinth of a house, she would take me to the store and let me buy what I needed to make cookies. I always followed the Nestle Toll’s recipe on the back of the chip package.
Growing up, I never really liked cookies. I never really enjoyed eating cookies. They were never just right. What I mean is that they were always too crispy or two bready or two chewy or too sweet or something…they never were JUST RIGHT. But, my brother loved cookies, and I thought, in my own naive head, that maybe baking them would solve problems. Maybe my own.
The first time I baked chocolate chip cookies, I did the rookie mistake of thinking baking soda and baking powder was the same thing. After putting the cookies in the oven, I watched them melt. They all melted like plastic over a fire. I remember crying and praying that they would do something other than melt, that somehow Jesus cared enough to salvage my drooping cookies. But the cookies just melted, and I became helpless, glued to the oven door with the blinding oven light, watching them melt. As they melted, I melted, and together, we melted.
I wasn’t prepared for this emotional connection. At seven or eight, I think this was the first time I felt true disappointment. No one prepared me for that feeling; the complications of duality, the emptiness.