Today, be inspired by a favorite childhood meal. For the twist, focus on infusing the post with your unique voice — even if that makes you a little nervous.
Everything is Forgiven:
She thinks if she gives me this silly little dish everything is forgiven. Ha. She’s even more stupid than she looks. I don’t mind her making it, thinking that this smile is a smile of forgiveness–but it’s not. It’s the smile of victory. This large cheek ripping grin is the grin of a man who has successfully duped. The grin of a Duper. I don’t mind her rushing around the kitchen, slowly building up a sweat, that is thick and flabby like the butter she’s cooking in the frying pan. oooooh that smell. She is definitely stupid and terrible at all things, but by some miracle of fate, she is able to make this one dish like no other. It’s like the universe is trying to apologize for making her so remarkably useless and unappealing.
She comes to sit across from me at the table, her forehead dark and beading still with sweat, and again i am put off. I can hardly look at her now a days.
“It’ll be just a while longer.” Her voice is soft and raspy, and i can hear the saliva and wind whistling through the holes and cracks in her teeth.
“I know how long it’ll be, Gillian. And don’t sit at the table with me. I can’t stand the smell of you.” I waved her away. She got up promptly, standing next to her seat like a dog…oh for the love of God, “Watch the damn pot, woman!”
“It’ll never cook that way.”
Oh God did she love her own superstition. So she stood there, staring absently out, lost in what i’d inaccurately call thoughts, because i’d hardly call her a thinker. She’s more like a st– no. I’m not a child. I won’t stoop to that level. Good God that smell! It was rising, filling up like whipped cream inside this chocolate eclair room– except the chocolate is probably dried blood or dirt, not the usually crusted shit from Spain beaten down by cream and sugar. She had that look on her face, under her hooked nose and her beady eyes, like she was so sure she’d won a race she couldn’t even run in. I’d let her think that, but i’ll know the truth she hadn’t.
The frying pan popped and sizzled, and i knew what that meant, the woman waddling back into the kitchen, through the old western swinging doors, and i was alone. I sat there, waiting, mouth watering, hands wringing the white napkin in my hand like rope–or better yet, like a wash lady wringing out clothes. The dish couldn’t come fast enough. My mind warped images of the inept woman standing behind the door, counting my breaths, holding back the plate, making me suffer in the only way something like her could.
Then the door swung open and her sweaty body, spun out of my vision, and the plate floated and glowed alone with me in the room, like a being. It floated to the spot in front of me, erasing the worn out wooden table beneath it…..and for a moment i was happy.
“There you are, Mr. Rattle.” Her voice creamy and cured like a fine meat bathed in sauce.
Those browned crowned round dumplings, fried, sat there and soon i blinked and time had passed. My clothes had been ravished. My gloves were oily, my belt buckle pulled, and sliding out of the loops of my trousers, and my shirt unbuttoned. My stomach peaked out from my open shirt, ruptured and torn, and probably spilling from the inside out. Sweat everywhere.
“Is all forgiven sir?” She whistled.
“Naturally, you beast. Call for my butlers to come fetch me!”
I was ashamed–of her of course. I was pitying her, a woman of such meager means, of such little talents. I was pitying her and this…i will return for her meals. I will “forgive” because that is all she has in the world. All she has is me.