“I love the smell of rice cooking in the evening. It don’t smell like death no more.I sit in our kitchen, on the same old chair I sat on since I was a kid.
Mom’s at the sink chopping vegetables, wearing that same old apron she always wears. Dad comes in the back door and stomps off his boots in the back porch.
There’s hamburger okazu on the stove. Hamburger okazu. Poor man’s sukiyaki. Same ol’ shit I was so sick of eating six days a week before and now I can’t wait. Hamburger, onions, green onion, string beans, eggplant, sugar-shoyu, tofu, and that wiggly shit that looks like worms. All cooking in that big ol’ black cast-iron frying pan.
I smell the rice cooking. I hear the lid rattling on the rice cooker. Sun’s going down outside the kitchen window. And I can’t believe I’m back.
Mom puts a big bowl of okazu in front of me, raw egg on the side, chawan full of hot rice in my left hand, hashi in my right. Dad says, ‘Itadakimasu,’ and nothing ever tasted better.
So I eat. I savor. I enjoy. And I don’t look up ’cause there’s tears in my eyes.
I’m home. Goddammit, I’m home.”
– Dorinne Kondo, About Face p.198