So I went to “Bed, Bath, and Beyond” the other day for the first time. It wasn’t as horrible of an experience as I had feared, though the row of humidifiers spewing mist into the obviously already misty Oregon-winter air triggered a brief moment of mycophobic horror. I was there to purchase an item which must fall into the “beyond” category: a salad-spinner.
A specific kind of salad-spinner, mind you, one that you spin by pushing down on a large button on the lid. “Good Grips” brand.
We had one, not long ago, and long enough for it to become Kelly’s “new favorite appliance,” but the first time I ever used it I broke it. Apparently I was pushing the button too vigorously (I was using my palm, as I would giving someone chest compressions in CPR) and pushed right through the lid, shattering the plastic into pieces, spiderwebbing the bowl. Kelly found it more amusing than angering, and said, for the millionth time: You’re such an animal.
And she’s right, and this is why I’m telling you this: I suspect it wasn’t entirely accidental. That not-so-deep in my animal subconscious I wanted to slay the spinner. I wanted it dead, smashed, splintered. I believe—and now we’ve moved into the realm of the fully conscious—that with every new appliance, kitchen appliances especially, a small but vital part of me dies. (Not surprisingly, I don’t feel the same way about power tools.) As if every one of them were a ball and chain. A domestic shackle. Or just another material object—often a plastic piece of shit that breaks under the weight of my palm—to occupy space in my life that could be occupied by nothing, nothing at all.