You’ll need coarse salt to scrub your soiled skillet with. Because salt is abrasive.
“You boy, c’mere! Get me a beer. If it’s warm like the one you got me last time then God help me, I’m gonna break every bone in your body. ”
Get scrubbing because food residue on the skillet can stink.
His fetid odor announced his arrival every evening. His bloodshot eyes at different levels of inebriation every day. I loved the days when he was completely totaled. He would just plunk himself on the bed and snore like a dragon. Mom and I breathed freely on such nights. But the worst nights were when he wasn’t intoxicated enough. Like tonight.
“Are you deaf or just stupid? Get me that beer or I’ll have to come there!” he slurred.
“Leave him alone, I’ll get it for you.” my mother intervenes. How she lives with this excuse for a person is beyond me. Apparently I’ll understand some day.
He’s angry. I know he’s going to hit her. I don’t want to look. But it sounds all too familiar. The dull thuds are from her forehead being pounded to the wall. One more bruise on her lovely face. One more time she would have to lie about “falling down the stairs”.
My blood is boiling but I sit tight, like I’ve been told to.
Wipe your skillet clean with a dry towel. Water makes iron rust. Rusting isn’t good, for skillets or people.
I cannot focus on my books. The peeling green wallpaper, the holes in our heavily stained carpet and my mother’s tired eyes like two broken windows are all pictures of our rusting lives.
The best way to dry your skillet is to heat it. On a high flame.
Mom yelps in pain. I cannot take it anymore. I stop his hand in mid-air before the next blow falls on her. He hits me instead with all his might. The room grows hotter. My right ear is on fire. A vein in my head starts throbbing.
My mother barges in.
He’s like a raging bull now, hitting everyone and everything that comes in its way. In the scuffle, my hand finds the cold metallic handle of the skillet. He seems to have forgotten that I’m no longer a child.
The iron from the skillet flows into my veins. I heave its bulk up in a fit of rage, like a cobra waiting to strike.
He cowers in fear. I have every intention of bringing down the weight of the skillet on his bald pate, but I don’t. He’s afraid of me and that’s enough.
Things are going to start changing around here now.
Apply a light coat of oil to keep it seasoned and ready for your next use.