by Kamalla Rose Kaur
“Has it been hard to return home after being gone for 25 years?” Marge asked while pushing a plate of cookies at me.
We were sitting at her kitchen table that was covered with a brightly colored
floral print tablecloth. The plate under the chocolate chip cookies had a
completely clashing floral print design on it, done in neon colors, I noticed
as I helped myself to a cookie. The winter sunlight was pouring through the
kitchen window beside us, which was decorated with yet another colorful
floral print fabric. Yes, Marge’s kitchen curtains were spring green and
covered with giant yellow buttercups and maybe more interesting yet, was the fact that Marge’s kitchen walls were painted deep rose.
“Eye candy!” I thought happily as I took it all in. I also admired Marge’s
snow white hair and her aged, pretty and soft peach face and her startling
soft blue eyes. And as if designed to fascinate me all the more, Marge was
wearing bright purple that day.
“Do you mean, is it hard to return to my hometown after deeply hurting and
betraying my family and completely shocking my community by running off and joining a cult at age eighteen?” I asked bluntly, pretty sure that that was
what this friend of my late Mother was truly asking me.
“No, it can’t have been easy for you.” Marge chuckled gently.
“How about you Marge, you ever make a really big stupid public mistake in
your life; get way in over your head, get conned, taken, embezzled or
brainwashed, disgrace your family, or anything embarrassing like that?”
“I voted for Nixon and then I found out he was a low down lying crook! Then years later, I voted for Clinton and felt the same way; embarrassed! Didn’t vote for Bush either time though.”
“Why Marge! Are you implying that our government is a cult?” I teased the
“Yes! Nothing but profiteering and the TV has us brainwashed, you bet! The
people in power aren’t telling us the truth, that is for sure.”
I noticed that Marge’s teapot and matching mugs had a very old fashioned
floral design on them, pink roses against a soft yellow background. The
kitchen floor was shiny indigo, the cupboards were painted sapphire blue,
with pink knobs, and the appliances were all old and harvest gold.
Suddenly, I remembered vividly all the years where the walls were white and the curtains were white and the carpets were white. Everyone in my cult for those 20 years wore white clothes and wrapped white turbans. Our tablecloths were white and our dishes were white too.
“But beyond that, how does it feel to be free of that cult you were in,
besides it being socially awkward?” Marge inquired further.
“Eye candy!” I told her.
“Life seems very colorful – you know, clashing, bright and dramatic,
passionate, free, uncontrollable, irresistible, fresh, risky and very sweet,”
“Colorful, you say,” Marge repeated.
“Yes, eye candy!”
“I like that.”