Dear Post-Holidays Refrigerator,
Do you remember two weeks ago as fondly as I do? I had just finished another run to the grocery store, my arms throbbing from the holy offering of edible luxuries I had harvested and carried to your door. Although quite full already, you had room for one final load of succulent holiday necessities.
You hummed merrily as I organized, shifted, sorted, and adjusted. I stepped back to admire the sight of you. Your shelves glimmered with piles of precious parcels, stacked to perfection and utterly infallible to gravity’s wiles.
In that ambrosial moment, the connection between us was nothing short of electric. Your cheese drawer was stuffed. Your vegetable crispers, overflowing. Your door, which normally housed nothing more than a garish container of mustard and some stale wine, was lined with a kaleidoscopic assortment of brand name beverages.
You — a picture of plenty, a vision of seductive opulence, a meticulously-arranged, highly-interactive, wholly-consumable manifestation of the American Dream. You transcended.
Then, the holidays began in a fury of festive hunger. Each day, I took from your bounty. You carried on valiantly as you became disheveled, picked over, and spilled on. You protected everything entrusted to you. You gave and you gave. No one thanked you personally, but I know they appreciated the dauntless nature of your spirit.
Finally, the last guest took the last extra stomach out of my household. It was just you and me again. When I stepped into the kitchen, I sensed a change: a darkening of the resplendent aura that had been emanating from your being. In that moment of palpable gloom, I could not bear to open your door. Instead, I opened a tin of peppermint bark and fell into a restless sugar-sleep on the couch.
That brings us to today. The Christmas tree is dead. Winter sharpens its claws on the window panes. Darkness falls all too early, and any remaining holiday lights are just a painful reminder of the intangible past.
I arrange my weary limbs, stand up, and direct my feet toward the kitchen. I stand in front of you for one last blissful moment of ignorance.
Then, I open your door and can count the contents in one glance: half a block of cheddar cheese, nine baby carrots, one yogurt carton, six flour tortillas, and one-third of a congealed casserole that no one really loved on the first go around. Both of us feel ashamed about the potential meals in my immediate future. I close your door softly.
Your shelves are bare, my heart is empty, our glory days are behind us.
Perhaps I will learn how to shop at regular intervals in the upcoming months. Or perhaps, in our shared loneliness, we will find a sad sort of solace. Knowing me, it will probably be the latter.
Apologetic and Hungry