Excerpt of Cover The Butter by Carrie Kabak
(Page 1 of 7)
Printer Friendly Excerpt
On Sunday, April 16, 1995, I vowed I would never sleep
with my husband, Rodney, again.
It was the day I opened the door to 75 Copper Lane and
swung my luggage onto the tiled floor of the hall. Then I remember
skidding, and landing hard on my rear. As I sat in cat vomit, Velcro
greeted me, waving his string of a tail.
I hoped that was all I would find after my neighbor
Pam had accosted me outside with: "Bad news for you, I'm afraid, Kate.
We had to call the police."
What the hell happened?
"Shit, what happened?"
"A bit noisy in the wee hours. High spirits, that's all.
You're a brave soul, letting Charlie have a party."
Party. Oh damn, yes, the party. Tossing my jacket in
the direction of the washing machine, I headed for the kitchen in
search of mop and bucket.
And I froze.
I stood for a while with my eyes closed until I felt
ready to look again.
Shards, chunks and splinters of glass formed a neat
pile in one corner. Congealed egg yolk streaked down walls. Curtains
hung by one hook from rails. The dishwasher yawned open with a load of
beer cans and foil cartons. In the sink, cigarette stubs and globs of
pizza floated in beige water.
And a stagnant pool puddled by the back door.
Someone had peed in my kitchen.
To hell with the sunflower-yellow cabinets I'd sanded
and painted, the shelves I'd sawed and measured for the turquoise
canisters. To hell with all the blue-striped salt and pepper pots I'd
collected for eighteen years. Eighteen years! To hell with the floor
I'd stripped and polished until my knees throbbed. Someone had
peed in my kitchen.
I ran upstairs and banged on my son's door with
"Follow me," was all I could say.
And he did. He sauntered downstairs with a coffee mug
in his hand.
I stood in the middle of the mess and looked at him,
and when I read the cool indifference in his face, tears stung my
"Chill out, Mom," he said. "It was just a party. You
knowgatecrashers and all. No big deal."
Charlie didn't care. It was at that point I remember
drowning in a spin of fury and confusion. He didn't bloody care!
Smashing plates to the floor, and why the hell not, please let me join
in the fun too, I watched them explode into little pieces. Six, seven,
eight, nine shattering plates. And when I was done, when I saw Charlie
gazing through the window, tapping his foot to a tune in his head, it
was then I slumped onto a chair and covered my face with my hands.
What had happened to my little boy? I felt his downy
head under my chin, smelled his familiar baby-scent of talcum powder
and milk. I heard his first words, his chuckling laugh, saw again the
liquid of his brown eyes. I ached with love for him, but reality had
punched me hard in the stomach this time. As much as I wanted to hold
him, and search his face for the love I couldn't see anymore, I
I snapped a paper towel from the roll to blot my face.
Now bend down, Kate, open the doors under the sink, and throw the
paper towel away. I gave myself orders, needing to function.
Cover the Butter by Carrie Kabak, pages 1-13, with permission from Dutton, a
member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Copyright © 20054 by Carrie Kabak.
All rights reserved. This excerpt, or any parts thereof, may not be
reproduced without permission.