Authors: Brooke Williams
GOD IN THE KITCHEN
By: Brooke Williams
Copyright © 2013 Blue Ribbon Books
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All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
“You should have a moustache,” the checkout clerk said as she grabbed a can of soup from the conveyor belt.
“Excuse me?” I answered, a surprised look on my face as I dug through my cart to place another item on the counter.
“A moustache,” she said. “You really should have one.”
I should have been more surprised at this outward display of opinion, but instead I just nodded and smiled. People recognized my voice often. I was, after all, THE Jared Jones, radio personality extraordinaire.
It was always interesting to me that people would tell me how I should look.
“I thought you’d be taller…thinner…older…more handsome.”
When it came right down to it, my voice could stand out among the masses, but when I was in public and remained silent, I could blend in with any crowd. There was nothing extraordinary about how I looked. I was of average height…average weight and I had average brown hair swept over to the side in an easy haircut that was manageable when I rose at 4 in the morning to start my day.
I was friend to the city, but still somehow lonely. I know that sounds strange because I talked to thousands of people every day, but in reality, I was just sitting in a room all alone, pushing buttons and putting on a show. It sounded as if I was having a good time. But once I was off the air for the day, I would go home to my small ranch house and quietly spend the day alone.
My life simply was what it was and I was doing my best fumbling my way through it. However, I feel much better today that I did several years ago. I owe those feelings to an experience I had with a man who asked me to call him Evan.
My true unhappiness began the day I lost my father.
My father was anything but average. He was on the short side with a rather large paunch around the middle, but once he entered a room, no one cared about his appearance. His personality was one that demanded attention and he had friends anywhere he went, even when he knew no one.
My dad was famous for his facial hair and he was often called simply, “the beard,” by those who knew him best. He was larger than life and he was my best friend in the whole world.
It was amazing, really, that my parents’ relationship had lasted for well over 50 years. My mom was much quieter and more reserved and she appreciated solitude as much as my dad enjoyed boisterous conversation. I guess it’s true what they say…opposites attract.
When the phone rang at the radio station before I even went on the air one morning, I thought nothing of it. I was used to listeners calling in at random times and I was always up for an interruption of the work I was trying to get done before the show began.
“Jared,” my mother’s small voice wavered on the other end. “It’s your father.”
It turned out that my dad had had a heart condition that no one knew about. Granted, he was in his 70s and it shouldn’t have really come as a surprise that he had passed away suddenly. But it was a complete and total shock to those who loved and knew him.
I hopped on the next plane and flew home, straight into my mother’s arms. My mother had always been a wisp of a woman. Somehow, as I hugged her tightly to me, I felt as if she might break.
My father had always been the center of our family and on the plane ride home, I wondered how his passing would affect the way we related to one another.
At that point, I just had to focus on getting through the funeral. The hardest part was holding my mother up through the events that followed.
My mother decided she didn’t want to have anything further to do with the home we had all lived in growing up. She wanted to sell it and move to a condo closer to my brother.
It wasn’t that she was choosing him over me or anything. It was just that he lived in a warmer climate and he had a wife…and grandkids. They needed her more than I did and she needed to be with a family. Not with some single radio announcer who had nothing to offer her but free concert tickets.
I returned to my small ranch home…alone…and spent my mornings entertaining the city in a room by myself.
It wasn’t until a week later that I realized the magnitude of what had occurred...I no longer had a father.
No, that wasn’t quite what I meant, it was more that I no longer had access to my father. As I stood at the kitchen sink one evening, peeling a carrot to throw into my stew, I found myself in tears.