My parents gave me a fridge. Long past its prime, a huge heavy thing with a curved handle stretching upwards in an arc and which you pulled down to open the door. Every child entering my house swung on this handle; fascinated by its size, drawn to the suggestive possibilities of its sweep.
It was delivered by a man with a van, paid for by my parents, in great and generous concession. My mother came for a visit and to inspect the placement of her gift. I remember her entering the long narrow kitchen, typical of the row of terraces we lived in and very much still in its original condition. She was wearing, I am sure, a fur coat and carrying a large handbag – an accessory much beloved by my small daughter who affected this style for many months afterwards.
My daughter would carry such a bag, purloined from one of the local jumble sales, along with sporting a headband and sunglasses. The playschool ladies always said she looked very smart.
How smart you look today Mia. Very smart today.
My mother inspected the corner of the kitchen, the positioning of the fridge. She came on a day when the handle had already demised and was gaffer-taped to the door. Otherwise it hung limply like a spent force.
My mother was critical of the way the second hand, passed-its-prime fridge had been treated. Her question was why. And I thought it’s a terrible sad fridge that she and my father didn’t want. ...
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