Our kitchen floor is tiled. Impressively so.
Rigidly tiled, tiles laid upon an aggregate of glue and cement.
Immoveable tiles, impervious to heat cold and otherwise destructive forces. They lie there as an impenetrable shatterproof grid. An armour against any assault.
Nothing overpowers them, my kitchen tiles.
I covet them, despite owning them.
Today is my wife’s birthday, the 16th of June, and being the woman whose love is and has always been illuminous in my life meant champagne was on order. Bottles of it. Chilled. Brown bagged so the neighbours had no idea of the imminent bacchanal as I furtively transported them from the shared carpark to the lift and beyond.
Through the front door and into the kitchen where I un-bagged them to stand these two brave bottles upright on the countertop. Both destined for the refrigerator. Fizz must be frosty. This is gospel.
The first bottle finds its roost, top rack, the second is grasped, lifted, and as it is transported to its chilling place the moistened bottle neck betrays the dry hand that grasps it and in an instant it is loose. The bottle is falling.
It is unreachable.
We both watch with the same horrified awareness of what might be about to happen.
As the bottle falls to the tiles and impossibly, bounces. We watch, breath abated, only to see it to fall again, wickedly so, to bounce once again.
Champagne is a weapon.
The third bounce exploded the bottle and spread its jagged remnants wholesomely throughout the room, leaving us, the celebratory couple, to silently observe the fine bubbling of a $8.99 bottle of sparkling wine remove a dull patina of residue food from tiles that had remained uncleaned for far too long.
My mother would have said there was a lesson to be learnt from such an unfortunate event, my father would have congratulated me for not buying Moet.