When a person is a good cook, he or she is usually a clean person as well. However, in Kathy’s case, the opposite turned out to be true. The first time Kathy and I got to know one another was at the VA Medical Center. The afternoon staff at the VA Medical Center decided to have a Memorial Day potluck for those working on that day. The employees working on the holiday drew sticks to decide what each would bring to the potluck. Kathy would bring beef stew, Tucker—corn muffins, Sandy—turnip greens, Maggie—potato salad, Amy—barbecue rib tips, Wendy—soft drinks, plates, and the table coverings, and I would bring a lemon cheesecake.
When Memorial Day came, one of the staff ...view middle of the document...
First, I tasted her beef stew. It reminded me of my grandmother’s homemade soup. The gravy had a dark brown color to it and was thick. The stew meat and potatoes were cut up in thick squares. There were carrots, and sweet peas added with the stew. There were many people in line loading their plates with Kathy’s beef stew. Like me, it seemed everyone enjoyed her dish more than the ribs or any of the other food served.
When the potluck was over and the staff was cleaning up, the pot of beef stew was empty. Kathy rinsed out her pot so she could take it home. Afterwards, Kathy asked me if I could join her for dinner at her house Tuesday, next week, at 3:00 p.m.. I accepted her invitation because Tuesday was my day off and I was free to do anything I wanted. Kathy wrote down her address and gave it to me. When the next Monday came around, and work was over, I went home, took a shower and watched television for the night, looking forward to my day off and some much needed quiet time.
Tuesday morning came around, and forgetting I had dinner plans, I decided to go grocery shopping so I could cook dinner for the evening. I came back to my home at 2:30, put away my groceries and took out what I was going to cook. After I prepared dinner, I started to eat when the phone rang. It was Kathy. She sounded disappointed and wanted to know what happened to our little get together. I told her I had forgotten her invitation and would be running late. I would be at her house at 5:00 p.m..
Deep within myself, I did not want to leave after getting comfortable at home, but to avoid hurting her feelings, I wrapped up my supper, and headed out to the car.
Driving on the road for a length of time, I finally made it to her street. I saw houses that were neatly kept up. The lawns were cut low, the trees were trimmed and the houses grew farther and farther away from each other. There was one house which looked very different from the others. There were junk cars surrounding it and there was no grass on the ground. It looked more like a place where wrecked cars were kept. I continued to drive until I noticed I was driving back to the country. Clearly, I had missed Kathy’s home.
I turned around and drove back on that same street. I started looking again for Kathy’s address. It was then I realized what I thought was a junk yard was Kathy’s home, so I parked the car, stepped outside and proceeded toward the front door. Making my way was difficult because there was no walkway. The yard was littered with car parts and tires. Before I could knock on the door, Kathy opened it. I was hit first by the smell. It was as if a person had been dead in there for weeks. The odor made me so sick it seemed like someone has closed the top on a...