To Achieve Silence in Your Kitchen Cupboards
1. First enter kitchen.
2. From your position at the door, mark your kitchen cupboards like a clock face. Start with the twelve o’clock position. Move to stand in front of the first cupboard.
3. Open door.
4. Remove all potentially noisy items in cupboards. These could include:
* Dish clothes which could be rubbed violently on surfaces.
* Glass items which could be clinked together in exuberant greetings.
* Tins which may be rolled across the floor, causing accidents and consequent cursing, screams, ambulance sirens.
* Any ingredients which are so delicious that when heated and mixed up can only be eaten with loud grunts of appreciation.
* Cleaning fluids with the potential of making anything squeaky clean.
5. Remove dog from pile of discarded items. Move to next cupboard.
6. Repeat No. 4. And then No. 5.
7. Work round kitchen, or clock face, until all cupboards are empty.
8. Follow the sound of Borsetshire accents and despatches from the Ministry of Agriculture.
9. Start to remove radio from kitchen, but then sit on floor and listen to the rest of the Archers. 10. Wonder how Brian always gets away with it.
11. Begin to listen to a medical phone-in on IBS before you realise what you’re doing.
12. Remove radio from kitchen.
13. Paint insides of all your empty cupboards a duck egg blue.
14. Stencil gold stars as tiny as your little fingernail along the edges and corners of each cupboard.
15. Wave bunches of sage leaves around the insides of each cupboard to chase away bad spirits.
Ring bells for similar effect.
16. Go out to a restaurant to eat because you have no food. Try not to wonder why you wanted silent cupboards in the first place.
You’ve no food left. It’s taken months but you’ve eaten your way through every tin, packet and box. You nearly gave up in the third week when the novelty had worn off and you felt desperate for something fresh and leafy, something that hadn’t lived inside metal or plastic or cardboard before you ate it. But you made yourself focus on your goal – to eat everything you’d bought when he was still there.
You could have thrown it all out, but that would have been admitting he was right when he said you were such a martyr, that you did everything for him, never thought about yourself, that he couldn’t bear the pressure of that anymore.
It was quite easy at first – you worked your way through the dried pasta and jars of sauces, cereals with the few pints of milk made up from powder. When it became more difficult you tried to impose some dietary order – tins of salmon and peas, the tin of corned beef topped with Del Monte Sling Peaches in Syrup. After that you didn’t care. This last week you’ve eaten a tin of chestnut puree and 24 Mini Croustades filled with the last of the tomato ketchup, caesar salad dressing and piccalilli. When you woke up this morning you could still taste evaporated milk in your mouth.
Today you have to go to the supermarket and start over again. You feel relieved and frightened. What if he was right? What if you won’t be able to make a single decision about what to buy when you only have yourself to think of. But you have no choice now there’s nothing left in the house. And you have a deep craving for a fresh mango – you can already taste its sweet juice running over your lips.