My Kitchen, Austin, Texas

I knocked out a wall and it became a kitchen grand and sprawling as all Texas, the foreign country in which I suddenly found myself. I’d been a right-coast girl gone all the way left, and had never once imagined a drift back, but it was what he wanted. I justified the reversal with the vague notion that marriage was more or less about long-range planning. The state of domesticity, at least, was something I felt comfortable in, while I rocked my babies, the twins, not even two, and scrawled out ideas for the contractor. Gleaming countertops, pale cabinets, the island where the kids would do year after year of homework, the table that would be surrounded by friends, stained by wine—can you see it?—it was a fine, strong, beating heart of a kitchen.

Eight years later the cupboard is bare. But I’m over getting romantic about cabinetry.

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