There’s chaos in the kitchen. Bodies bump and cupboards open and close like a blinking eye restoring its loose contact. The old man, sitting on the black leather couch, is not used to these sounds. Whenever he’s in the kitchen, he’s in control and the audio is minimal. But this week is one of his favorites. All three daughters are together. And what are they doing? Is that chocolate chip cookies they’re going to be making or are they getting things ready for lunch? It’s hard to keep track of time when one day after another slips by. He’s lived at least 32,850 days in his lifetime and wonders what age will be his last. No one with his surname has ever lived to be a nonagenarian except for him. He reaches for the remote to increase the volume, a task that takes more time than ever as his hand and its five digits shake. He holds the device closer to his body for stabilization, but it is too far from the television to get the job done. There’s disgust as his appendage continues to quiver while he trains his mind to focus on the task at hand before he forgets what he’s doing. The verile engineer is long gone and will not be returning in his lifetime.
Kitchen chaos continues. The once glistening granite counters are adorned with bowls, measuring cups, and a dusting of flour. Broken egg shells clog the sink’s indentation as curses come when creaming hard butter and sugar with moisture from only an egg and a teaspoon of vanilla.
“I should have brought the mixer,” says the stubborn middle sister with regret. “It’s my lame brain.”
“No problem. It will take longer, but we’ll have more time together,” responds the youngest.
“Hey, while you guys are talking, where do you think Dad keeps the cookie sheets?”
A new sound pierces the nap of the old man. Unsure of what that high frequency was, he looks towards the kitchen. There are his three middle aged daughters with a large plate of chocolate chip cookies and a glass of milk. They walk towards him like members of a marching band.
His voice scratches. “Are these for me?” he asks.
“Absolutely!” echo his daughters.
The old man reaches for the plate. Unaware that his hand is shaking, he takes a chocolatey bite and slumps back into the couch’s leather in satisfaction. “How did I get to be so lucky? You three girls sure take good care of me.”