The Slow-Cooked Sentence

Where there is tea

Rachael Conlin Levy

It’s empty, so the small sounds are magnified, the fridge’s hum, the clock’s tick, the creak of heating ducts constricting. The air is cool and carries the smell of the morning’s toast. I lean against the wall for balance and pull of boots, jacket, hat, dumping everything at the door.

Without bodies the home is cavernous, quiet, and air settles like a mist of rain, dampening the couch, slicking the table. No one is here to jostle, blow, push or squeeze air into a molecular frenzy, no one but me and I breathe quietly and try not to disturb.

In the kitchen, the kettle is half full, so I reheat water, pour tea into a jam jar and wait, noting, but doing nothing about the morning’s evidence, the newspaper splayed across the fruit bowl, the Cheerio sitting in a puddle of milk, the splattering of Legos and dirt on the rug, the grime on the arms of the rocker.

Tea leaves drift in hot water, staining and altering it. I cup the hot glass in my hands, feeling the difference growing between the temperature of my fingers and toes. My ribs open, spread, creating more room, more space inside of me.

Today I won’t be rushed. I won’t divide minutes, multiplying hash marks on the crowded clock face. I won’t worry that I’m not spending time wisely, efficiently, correctly. Today I’ll sip tea and describe empty places.

5 responses to “Where there is tea”

  1. anno says:

    Those negative spaces are important places; as my piano teacher used to say, "don't rush the rests." Hope you enjoyed every leisurely moment.

  2. Andrea says:

    Lovely…drinking tea and describing empty places sounds perfect (as does ignoring legos and cheerios!)

  3. Rachael Levy says:

    Anno and Andrea, thank you. I enjoyed my time, which ended sooner than I wished because I had to leave the last of my tea, still warm in its glass, in order to collect my child.

  4. Sipping tea and describing, a mid-morning well spent.

  5. Rachael Levy says:

    Denise, now if only such mornings would come more frequently!

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