Everyday he opens me, digging through my insides, searching for something to appease him. I’ve seen nobody else with the privilege to do it. Just him. I feel like that creates a bond between us.
When only he is in the house, I don’t see him as often as when there’s company here. I look forward to company, I’ve come to love those days. That’s when his hands are inside me the most. Digging, pushing, re-arranging my interior goods like he’s tickling me. I must admit, we’ve been together a long time and I care about him as much as he cares about me.
That’s why I get so concerned about him when he’s alone. He doesn’t like to be alone. When he has no one to cook for. No reason for his hand to embrace my handle and pull my door open, peeking at my insides once again. He doesn’t care to cook for himself, though I think he should.
Oh! Where are my manners? I should take this opportunity to introduce myself. I’m Electric General and my owner is Ralph. Ralph’s a great guy. He has a happy heart and a smile that could move mountains. He’s more than ready to do anything for anybody. And to feed others? He would do at the drop of a hat. I’ve seen him give away his last meal just so someone doesn’t go hungry. Since he lost his job though, he has a fog of melancholy seeping around him that weighs down that heart and smile. It’s been getting worse as the days go on. And truthfully, it started before he lost his job. He worked hard everyday but lacked a partner to spend his free time with. That was upsetting to him. Then losing his job made the fog grow thicker.
I’d see him sitting at the kitchen table, on the phone, or computer looking for work. He’d stick reminders on me with those magnets I like. But he had no luck so far.
Then, to make matters worse, our house got broken into and his wallet, keys, including the car was stolen. The cat crawling silent ninjas even managed to find his shoebox of rainy day money. Ralph cursed those pills he recently started taking for depression. They made him sleep so soundly he never even stirred while his house got cleaned out. Those criminals even had the audacity to handle my doors and open me up like they owned me! They rummaged through food on shelves and violating me even further, opening drawers as well. It had my Freon boiling. Those no good robbers even took some food right out of my body!
I was upset, but my buddy Ralph, he took it real hard. He was talking to himself and saying how not only is he broke now but he’s still alone. Just to make the hard knocks worse. I think about him going through the days so lonely without a girlfriend or even a friend for that matter. I worried about him to the point where I blew my bulb! His deep depression was wearing off on me and I was dark for days. While I was wondering in dark despair if my bulb would ever get changed again, he was wondering if he’d ever meet someone who he could cook for.
He reached the end and Ralph seemed broken now. He needed food and his means of buying some was gone. He was all alone, hungry, sick and just wishing he had food in me. I was tired of being empty too.
When he had people over on the rare occasion, he would open and close me so much, my hinges loved the workout. These were days when he’d smile and laugh like he hadn’t a care in the world. When he’s creating some culinary temptation for others at the job side of the stove, it brings him such uplifting happiness. Whomever enters this home will get an amazing dish to eat, that’s for sure.
But he was alone and so tired of his life he wanted to end it all. I’ve even heard him crying and that really shook my shelves! I wished I could make him happy. I couldn’t take watching him go on like this. I did the only thing I could think of to help. One of the papers he had under a magnet on my beautiful face was for a support group. I hadn’t seen him use it yet so I did what I could to shake it loose and have that paper fall on the floor in front of me.
Imagine my relief when it worked. He picked up that paper and made the phone call. He went to his first support meeting that night. It turned out great. He met a few people who were going through what he was going through, and it really helped him see a light at the end of the tunnel. To top it off, the group was having its big annual members meeting next week and needed a caterer. Of course, Ralph jumped at the opportunity.
I was feeling great, Ralph finally changed my bulb and with the commission for the catering, filled me full of food he would process into culinary delights.
As far as how Ralph felt, well, things were finally looking up. This was the perfect opportunity for him to feel useful again and needed. He was going to cook! And for so many people. He would make this feast a memorable one.
At the meeting, everyone was going wild over Ralph’s cooking. He had taken the time to ensure all members palettes were covered. Carefully making notes about allergies and general likes and dislikes had paid off. Everyone was so pleased. Especially Ralph! It just so happened that a girl at the meeting pointed out a chef in the crowd to Ralph. Her name was Susan and she said he would be a good person to get to know.
Holding a plate, he repeats the question he’s been asking everybody all night, “Would you like something to eat?”
He gave a plate to a man named Norman Rose, who worked for an exclusive restaurant downtown. This man had been attending the group for years and wondered if he could help Ralph in any way. He thought the food was so delicious, he asked if Ralph would come on an interview with him. Norman owned a few restaurants downtown and one had an opening for a chef. The man wanted to do what he could to give Ralph a chance. He just hoped he wasn’t making a mistake.
For the second time that month Ralph got to cook for someone! And this time it could land him a job that he so desperately needed. I loved the way my hinges were getting a workout from being used so often again. Ralph practiced some of his most challenging dishes to find just the right one for his interview. I was in bliss with all the poking and prodding he was doing with my insides.
With no surprise from me, he got the job! The last thing he packed were my insides to sufficiently keep everything temperature locked. There were so many bags and boxes to take with us to our new place in the city. This would be an adventure, I thought. Ralph had to move himself closer to the city for his new job as Head Chef at Chez Louie’s. Right in the middle of the thumping downtown core. He was so happy now. He couldn’t believe he ever wanted to kill himself. Things were so good now. Especially since Ralph met Susan. Finally, he wasn’t alone. Time could do some amazing things.
Ralph and Susan decided to move in together. She already had a spacious apartment in the city close to his job, so he would move right in with her. But he wasn’t going anywhere without me. I’m a state-of-the-art machine. A well-oiled machine. I was expensive and besides, I was his first. That’s right, I was the first appliance Ralph had purchased as his grown up self had needed one. I had the best heating and cooling system this side of the state line. The chef that lived alive and beating in Ralph would never let me go. Besides, we had a bond. I did such a good job for him. Making sure the food was cold and fresh so he could cook such good food to serve his friends, his company.
He slid the dolly under me with an awkward squeak and Ralph’s hands slid on the blue arms of the dolly I was being snugly and squarely affixed to. Gravity was thick with an object like myself when it came to falling off a dolly. We certainly didn’t want that to happen. So there I was, snug, square, and secure on the carrier seat of this dolly where the corner edges had sharpened to a paper cut of an edge. The blue paint had worn off the bottom of the dolly so that it showcased the stainless steel housed underneath. It shone and flickered in the midday sun. Ralph set about moving me to my new home.
To my surprise, the new apartment already had a fridge. I wonder what Susan’s fridge is like. Is it a lady fridge and if so, what’s her make and model?
As he was pivot spinning me into my new space in the new kitchen we touched handles, and I almost blew my door gasket. I asked her what she had inside her. She giggled again and said “Maybe you, if you play your cards right, cutie.”
“Oh really? What’s your name sweetie?”
“I’m Jenmore. What about you?”
“I’m Electric General.”
“Well, that name suits a handsome stocky fridge, such as yourself. I salute you Sir!”
I couldn’t help but brag about what was in my own belly. I started in on a real nice story about the food inside me and how we escaped a dire situation of depression and loneliness. I bragged about Ralph and how he defeated all the odds stacked against him.
“He’s a genius with food and he just got a new job as a chef in a fancy restaurant. He’s got such a huge heart and he shows how much he cares through his cooking. Now I always have leftovers of the most expensive foods. Oysters are always present on my shelves.” I HAD to boast about that. “Not to mention truffles!”
Jenmore chimed in, “Ok, enough now you braggart or I’ll take back my handsome remark. I just met you; you don’t want to make my evaporator coils freeze already, do you?”
“No ma’am, my heat radiator fans are hot for you!”
“Well in that case, its my turn to brag to you. I’m a Smart Fridge so I know some of that fancy food your owner loves to feed people will end up over here relaxing inside me. After all, my control panel can detect best before use AND store data of items inside me like his delicious meals. Believe me, I will keep those oysters in temperature regulated luxury.”
“Oh, so you’re a fancy fridge, are you? No wonder you’ve got my compressor turning up my heat.”
Jenmore giggled again. “I’m fancy enough to store your fancy food, Sir Electric General.” One more giggle.
“Well Madame Jenmore, I think our makes and models will get along just fine. Living with you shall be a pleasure.
And that it was. Ralph was happy all the time feeding others and spending time with Susan. As for Jenmore and Electric General, once the lights were out, they would coil up together for the night. 😉