I delivered my children in the same small hospital where I was born, my daughter is the Bellview Bobcat that I was long ago, and I only live a short walk from the house in which I grew up. Because this is a small town, I know the people who bought that house. Decades later they still live there; he was my old English teacher and she's the children’s librarian at our local branch. I go to the library often and almost every time I see her she mentions the cutting board.
I was tortured by my older sister, positively tortured. Ask anyone, they’ll agree. I couldn’t fight back so I struck with words—including some choice ones hidden under the cutting board. I remember the day I carved the cruel words about her there, thinking no one would ever get under the thing. I had just made a cup of Personal Frosting, you know a little powdered sugar, cocoa, butter, and milk, all stirred together in a mug and eaten with a spoon. (Admit it; the frosting is the destination. Who needs cake?) I sat on the kitchen floor and looked up at the cutting board that was pulled out above my head and though, perfect. I can’t remember what she had done that day to piss me off, but my thoughts about her that day are now recorded forever.
Who knew Mrs. C would keep her cookbooks in the cupboard under the cutting board? Who knew she’d enjoy sitting on the kitchen floor next to her open cupboard browsing those books? Who knew she’d ever pull out the cutting board and look up while down there?
I saw Mrs. C again today at the library and the first thing my kids asked her was, “Do you still live in Mom’s old house?” They love the cutting board story, no matter how many times it’s told…
Words live on; be careful where you publish.