By the time Rick Campbell reached his home, it was almost dark. The sun was hovering around the edges of the horizon on the far west coast and the chill in the air was enough to make teeth rattle but Rick seemed to feel nothing in his flannel shirt as he took his time to remember the pocket in which his keys were.
The funeral service had been long and brutal; he had stood there, politely, with nothing but sheer exhaustion on his face and received condolences from people who he didn’t know, all day. He had never realised until this afternoon that his wife was indeed some sort of local celebrity chef; people from all across the town had come and tried to share his grief. Only if they knew that he wanted nothing but to sleep and wake up only when this would make sense to him.
He sat on the couch, in his spot and tried to shed some of the weariness of his aged limbs but couldn’t. He was grateful for the extreme numbness which had descended upon him since the terrible day of Jenny’s demise; it had taken over his entire bodily system making him feel nothing and that was good because he wasn’t ready.
For the first time in almost 30 years, he tried to look at his living room. There were several small pieces of decoration littered across the room, all of which he remembered exactly when and why his wife had bought but the room still felt strange, like he was in the house of someone else. He roamed in the entire house to get rid of this unsettling feeling but only felt like a stranger, again.
Working mechanically, he removed his clothes to the bare minimum and opened the refrigerator only to silence the grumbling coming from his stomach which was churning acid for the past day. He was glad that there was some leftover lasagna – the last from his wife’s cooking.
As he heated the dish, the all too familiar aroma filled the kitchen and suddenly everything started losing its strangeness; the house recolored itself to a color which he was familiar with. He took a bite and for a moment he was home.
This was written for the 10th edition of The Saturday Symphony hosted by our very own amazing Jude. Although the topic required to write about our personal ‘Soul Food’ but I am sharing this short piece instead (I hope it’s okay) which tries to feature the soulfulness which food have. I would love to know what you guys think about it.