Every night that he made a pasta dish, two eggs would sit on the counter next to each other sweating tiny beads of condensation that rose on their shells to gently roll down their sides and puddle on the counter. They would sweat until their viscous interiors came to the same temperature as the room and I would know what had to be done.
Exactly eight minutes before dinner was to be on the table he would call me from my childhood distractions and I would run to his side, eager for my indispensable part to begin. I would take the silver, dented, metal cup and fill it to the top with soft, smooth, slightly yellow flour, then turn it upside down on the huge cutting board that he made with his own hands. No matter how much we scrubbed, it bore permanently the perfume of garlic, onions and ginger.
I would fill the measuring cup a second time, pouring the flour on top of the first cup of flour making a peak whose sides ran with avalanches. Once the flour was in a peaceful mound, I would take the bottom of the measuring cup and make a crater in the middle, with steep sides, leaving a thumbs thickness of flour at the bottom to cradle the now warm eggs. One at a time, I would crack the eggs against the edge of the cutting board and drop them into the crater. Once they stopped sliding around, trying to find a way out, I would scramble them gently until they were no longer yolk and white but the color of lemon meringue pie. I conceived that this was their true moment of no return, the moment where they gave up any possibility of being chickens.
Slowly, I would add in the sides of the flour peak, thickening the eggs until I could use my hands to knead the dough, until it was elastic in my hand, but not as elastic as silly putty. Once the dough was ready, I would break it into four even balls that I then flattened into disks and put in the top of the manual metal pasta cutter that my father had secured with a C-Clamp to the cutting board and rolled each individually, starting with the thickest setting of five and moving down to the thinnest setting of one. As each sheer sheet was ready, I quickly cut it to the appropriate size and my father would drop each bundle of pasta immediately into the salted water. It took me exactly the same amount of time to clean the counter and my hands as it did for the pasta to cook. Then I would sit in my place watching as he carried the steaming bowl to the table proud that we had made something delicious together, again.