Iris is standing on the second step of the green kitchen stool. The stool matches the counter tops which feel like plastic, except for the black holes from cigarette ashes that show the age of the kitchen, and therefore the entire house.
If Iris wasn’t alone, her company would be able to see the bottom of her feet as she’s perched on her toes. They are black. Iris knows this because she can feel the bumpy grit on the green and white checkered linoleum as she walks across the kitchen. Actually, she feels it on the bottom of her feet as she walks the entire rest of the house, which is hardwood.
The house itself is short and narrow. Referred to as a “shotgun house,” one could open the front and back door and fire a straight shot. Rooms flank both sides of the hallway.
The floor stays dirty because Joan and Ricky are never there. Ricky probably doesn’t live there anymore as Iris has not seen him for months, but Joan has been absent for only a few days. Iris is not yet tall enough to master the broom and the dustpan alone.
And this is why Iris is standing on the second step of the green kitchen stool; she’s looking for the box of cocoa pebbles that she remembers being in the top cabinet to the left of the sink. It’s not there. She wonders where it could be as she doesn’t recall River being there last night. He’s certainly not there this morning.
River is Iris’ older brother by six years. He belongs to Joan but not Ricky. Iris doesn’t remember what River’s dad’s name is. Probably because she has never been told.
Joan has given up trying to enforce rules on River, and deep down she knows he’s not staying with Iris while she’s gallivanting, but she never asks him or says anything because she doesn’t really want to know.
The shelves in the cabinet are floral yellow from the lining Joan affixed when the four of them first moved in. She thought the yellow would complement the green and she kept saying it was to spice the kitchen up. Ricky tried correcting her saying she meant spruce, but Joan said spice due to it being in the kitchen and spruce was for everywhere else.