Sunday, November 3, 2013

The skillet toss

Sara was at this point where she realized she had a hard time taking in large doses of anyone apart from herself. 

She wanted so badly to revel in the details instead of being annoyed by how Henry cooked 2 eggs over easy every morning leaving the sulfurous smell lingering on the patio… that had once been her patio. Her sanctuary, now sullied by fucking eggs. Their bloody yellows marring her once pristine cast iron skillet she found on a trip from coastal Rhode Island to the sumptuous verdancy of Vermont.

It was a Memorial Day weekend and Sara had just graduated from college. She had taken the Bethel exit off of 89 in search of gas and found herself pulling over to examine the goods and finery laid out at a road side yard sale. The convocation of household superfluity was tended by two young women similarly dressed in blue jeans and once-white aprons folded in half and knotted at the waist. They could have been mother and daughter, could have been sisters. Their interactions and clear level of irritation with one another implied a generational divide. The older woman seemed to hover above in the atmosphere, while her younger counterpart hinted at a smirk and a half eye roll in response to seemingly innocuous exchanges.

Goods were laid out with such a delicate hand and carefully tagged with fragile ribbons tied to paltry prices followed by the yard sale subtitle commensurate with gospel, “OBO” (...or best offer). All was clearly suggestion as opposed to decree. Sara lifted the pan with her left hand with a necessary deliberateness.

She was shocked by its elephantine hulk.

It felt in part weapon, in part paperweight, and in part practicality for a young woman teetering on the cusp of something. Well, ...clearly something.

She remembered an ex-boyfriend telling her of the Lady’s Cast Iron Skillet Toss at the Blue Hill Fair. It was a traditional manifest of athletic prowess and brazen domestic chutzpah. One wayward attempt went into the crowd narrowly missing his father’s balding head. There was momentary feigned outrage from mothers with children, but most dismissed it with a shrug and sudden fascination with passing clouds. Apparently, risking accidental bludgeoning was perfectly acceptable in the face of considering abandoning a time honored tradition.

Sara pictured herself at the fair. Skillet in one hand, making revolutions with her unsubstantial body, mirroring the form she remembered watching discus throwers execute in high school track meets.

One revolution.

Two revolutions.

And then, a cutting release.

Clearly, Sara and this skillet were fated. In her imagination, they were already storied.

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