Little sweetheart, remember the refrigerator, here? It’s the same one that was in operation from the day I arrived decades ago. An ancient warhorse, I’m guessing it has probably been here since the Kennedy Administration. It’s the kind where you have to defrost the freezer regularly. If you don’t it becomes like an igloo and you can only shove a thing or two into the tunnel of space between walls of icy tundra.
Last year, it seemed to be on its last legs, and the landlord sent a repairman over here who took one listen to it and pronounced it a blown condenser, un-fixable because trusty don’t even make parts for it anymore. That was a year ago. I don’t like to make trouble, so I sat on it for another four seasons until now when even at full blast, it wasn’t keeping things cool. To my astonishment the landlord agreed to replace it and they brought a new one over here earlier yesterday.
Every time I would defrost the old one. I would take everything out, placing all the most perishable stuff in a cooler and filling it with a five pound bag of ice from the deli, to keep cold until the arduous operation was completed a few hours later.
At the back of the fridge on the top shelf is a collection of things of yours, little sweetheart, from your last time here, that I’ve saved all these years. Some crisps, some sweets and a favorite soda, salad dressing, some barley from a recipe I made especially for you. Each time I defrosted, I would carefully save them all, transferring them to a little box and then putting them back after everything was defrosted and cleaned. Yesterday, I did that again, and returned them to the brand new fridge.
The front of the old one also had many pictures of you - including one of you at a fridge (at my mom’s, wrapped in a blue towel post-shower and looking for a yogurt) - and some other mementos, a ticket from the Leonard Cohen show you took me to in Oakland for my birthday and the receipt from our trip to the spa in Calistoga, on yours. I carefully removed them and this morning put them all back on the front of the new one.
Some things change but others are forever. Isn’t that right, little sweetheart?