The refrigerator stopped working last weekend. My food went bad. The appliance is new. Our landlord delivered the icebox just over a year ago, surely it is still under warranty.
This morning there is no milk for my coffee, I regret that Lenox ever replaced the old refrigerator. There was nothing wrong with it; only the electrical cord that plugged into the wall was bad. It was severed– nothing that a piece of black electrical tape couldn’t fix. I cut the cord with a pair of scissors in a heightened state of panic years ago, when I was psychotic. The old Kenmore functioned for years despite the splice of wires. In my delusion mind, there were demons inside that big white box, so I grabbed a pair of scissors and cut the source of power. After re-taping what I had ruined while mad, the refrigerator went on to keep things cool for five more years until eventually, Lenox bought me a new one. There was nothing wrong with the old refrigerator. It did the job and kept things cool even though it leaked and ruined the wooden floor beneath. It still would be working and I would have milk this morning if only Lenox let it stay.
Shawn left a suicide note inside the old freezer. That’s why I cut the cord. I was so upset when I discovered what was written next to two unfilled ice trays. I found his forget-me-not weeks after he was gone; when I was alone in the house in tears needing a glass of ice-water, wishing that somehow I could stop crying. We were not sure if he killed himself. Doctors told me about a surplus of Tylenol that was pumped from his stomach. Was it suicide or was he trying to curb a headache? The note in the freezer filled in the blanks.
I was glad when Lenox wheeled that heavy food coffin out of here and brought in a new, shinny rectangle box to match a contemporary, square gas stove. He probably paid $200 a piece for the furnishings, but they were new at the time and somehow, having a new kitchen helped me to put my lover to rest in ceremonies drenched in sweet spices and thick stews.
There were so many bad memories still stuck to the side of my head caused by the note that I found plastered to the chilling door of the freezer. All I could do to recover from my shock was cook and try to get back to the rhythm of life.
With the old refrigerator gone, I still thought about the note that was written with individual magnetized words that came from a kit made for poets for use on refrigerators and other metal devices. On the outside of that old icebox when Shawn was still here, sentences crafted by hungry passers by drafted the most tasty of thoughts through an unassembled set of refrigerator poetry magnets. Shawn bought the sticky words at a Barnes and Noble bookstore while shopping for How-To books for black and white photographers. He took the time to put together a poem for the inside of the freezer door too– one that was far more poetic and deep than the garbled assortment of words scattered over the old refrigerator door like an infestation of roaches– the English language gone array in need of a few fingers and creative minds to readjust magnets in the form of coherency.
He peeled the magnet words one at a time from the front of the door and hid them inside, near the ice, perhaps knowing that when he was gone that I would find what he had written to me from beyond—
[BURN] [IN] [HELL]
Poetic justice was served and I was frozen!