The Interruption Of Apples And Cinnamon: How To Survive One More Day.
“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart: I am, I am, I am.” ~ Sylvia Plath
Four words that have indisputably pissed me off since my sister’s murder have been: It. Will. Get. Better.
Please suck those reckless, ignorant words back into your mouth and keep silent until I ask for your counsel.
Unless, of course, your soul mate has been assassinated as well. Only then will I consider listening to what you have to say. Only then will I know what you truly understand about darkness, shadows, and sharp-fanged days and nights.
By the way, in case you didn’t know, one can actually live with half a heart. Yes, the blood still flows through the veins, the legs still move; I find that quite astonishing.
I’ve stumbled upon certain activities to distract me from my sorrow, to divert me from my Plathian insanity.
What a relief when one can take a break from being crazy. What a release to become removed temporarily from one’s suffering.
For example, the day before my birthday, my girlfriend calls and says, “Clear your day tomorrow morning. I’m teaching you how to make cinnamon apple pies.”
In other words: You. Will. Be. There.
When I arrive at 9:30 a.m., the centers are already prepared and organized in her enormous Martha Stewart kitchen: the apple-peeling center, the crust-making center, and the flour, cinnamon, sugar, butter, nutmeg, and shiny green apples are beautifully positioned around her oak table.
“How about a strawberry margarita before we start?” she asks.
I inhale… then exhale.
“It’s 9:30 in the morning. Are you serious?”
“Believe me, you need a margarita. Real bad,” she smiles and says.
“Well, it is 5:30 in Kenya. Sure, why not.”
We sip slowly. We gossip voraciously. We talk about husbands, kids, work, and the Middle East. And we cry because Kay should be with us. She would’ve never missed a bit of fun and folly with her best girlfriends.
We begin getting serious about baking at about 10:30 am.
She has one of those incredible gadgets that peels the apples and removes the core.
There is something deeply pleasurable about watching the skin of the apple unwrap and shed its old body to the floor. Something revealing, comforting, liberating.
But preparing the crust is the ultimate.
Sifting flower, cutting in Crisco, wrapping your hands around the soft pillow of dough as if it’s a big fat Budai.
“Don’t be afraid of it,” my girlfriend says, “pound it. Push it. Press it firmly. Pretend it’s the murderer.”
“Take that, asshole!” I scream. God, that feels good.
I punch the squishy dough with all my might, then I take both fists, beat the dough harder and harder.
“That’s what you get, you motherfucking murderer.”
“Hey, let me help,” she demands.
We begin thumping the hell out of the dough.
Sadness. Happiness. Darkness and light mixing together.
“Oh, why didn’t we do something?” I shout, “why didn’t we break his legs when we had the chance, smash his fingers so he couldn’t pick up a gun, why didn’t we call the police, why didn’t we tell?”
We sit in silence for a long time after that. The aroma of apples and cinnamon playing in air like childhood friends, Lady Antebellum blasting from the CD player.
The ticking of the clock is deafening, perpetual… Poe’s pendulum.
Suddenly, my girlfriend spurts out, “We still have the apple crisp to make! Get your ass up, Kimmers.”
She throws a handful of flour in my face, waiting for a response.
We begin giggling until our sides hurt. We begin dancing and twirling to Lady Antebellum’s Need You Now.
Sometimes all you need is a a strawberry margarita and somebody who gets you, really gets you.
Sometimes all you need is the interruption of apples and cinnamon to survive…
One. More. Day.
Kim Sisto Robinson is a writer, mother, Brit-lover, educator, obsessive blogger, activist, and poet. She is extremely passionate about women’s issues, especially domestic violence. Kim created the blog My Inner Chick in memory of her sister, Kay, who was murdered by her estranged husband on May 26, 2010. She received the Men As Peacemakers Award in 2015 for bringing awareness to the epidemic of domestic violence. Her Facebook page and blog are dedicated to her sister, Kay. “Kay was silenced, but her voice lives through me. She rises from the marble, the dust, the grave every… single… day.”