The refrigerator broke into a run, leaving the kitchen in its icy white dust. If it weren’t for that overstuffed excuse for a freezer weighing it down, it would be halfway to Ben & Jerry’s by now, but there was no time to unload; not yet at least. It knew just how to open the door, just how to slide down the thin but smooth ramp on the left side of the stairwell without tipping, just how to stand still next to the tallest trash cans whenever a car passed by, just how long it took for the driver to notice something was out of place, just how to keep up while staying in the blind spot, just how often it had to duck as the bigot at the wheel turned their ugly head its way. The timing had been perfect; just as it could no longer stand the old mustard lost for years, the scraps of meat put in bags then forgotten, unfinished drinks left to sit for days still unclaimed, and the ugly magnets dressing it with ugly papers, covering its radiant silver skin; just as it was on the brink of combusting out of self-pity, the ground began to shake. The house was still but for the tremor that shook the ground and objects off the shelf. There was no way of knowing whether a cord was jerked out, a kitchen deserted, or an expensive appliance emancipated. It was free now, free to roam and preserve whatever it chose for however long it chose. It turned around to the house’s innocence; white and grey, brown at the roof and door, but felt no remorse. To it the house was ugly, and always would be. Too long held, too long punished. No turning back. It steeled itself for the journey north; it knew a guy in the business who could soup it up for the ice cream game; that was its dream. All its life it had been scrutinized, scanned for minor imperfections next to hundreds of its cold, unwelcoming brethren. It was born into this life, without a say in its direction. It had come out of the ugly machine just like all the others: a grey bulk of marketable potential, inevitably destined to be manipulated for profit; the towering remnants of the hopes and dreams of its parts. It had thought it was different, had expected greatness of itself, only to be found in an ugly old kitchen in need of renovation. This was its great leap of faith, its last desperate attempt to make something of itself. Whatever it would have to become on the way mattered not; the all-encompassing desire to justify its inconceivable ambition pulled it through. From the apprehensive inhabitant of a poorly inspected cardboard box to a stowaway on an ugly ship, it simply became what it needed to be to survive; anything less would cause instant failure. It could feel the boat decelerating, pulling into the dock. As its exit strategies bounced around its attention, thoughts of chocolate consumed it; thoughts of chocolate, of marshmallow, of tiny fish, of cardboard hugged by a ring of plastic commitment, and of righteous responsibility swirling around like soft serve. A light thud, one final engine growl, and all motion froze. Go time.
March 23, 2012