Fridge conversations

I took advantage of many writing techniques to express myself with: thanks to another blogger, I experimented years ago with the “word of the day” routine that you can still see now in the english section. The newsletter of an online dictionary gave me a daily erudite definition for “something that is lacking flavor, zest, animation, or spirit”. Or, as they put it, “vapid”.

Later on, a friend suggested -rather, shared his writing experience with me- to limit my thoughts on the notebook to one page. I thanked him and lasted half hour, as I really cannot contain my thoughts to just one page on all but the rarest of occasions.

Still, I persevere: whenever it comes to writing, I gladly challenge myself. I guess that since I’ve never been a professional writer it is exciting to undertake tasks as seriously as if I was paid for it.

Then, I discovered fridge magnets. Like four years ago, I was at my friends’ shared flat in Rome. It was late at night and we already had too much vodka: an ordinary college thursday night. It was the first time for me at their place. The dim cold neon bulbs above the steel shelves illuminated a watermelon that had been filled up with vodka. It was not summer yet. But the Bangla shop owner at the end of the streets did not care, and neither did we.

On the fridge, some words were stuck on it. Magnetised. Somehow unprompted; there were roses and red in a verse. It was a poem with no rhyme: but utterly beautiful.

I asked – Who wrote this? My friends shrugged their shoulders. “The previous renter” was the reply. They said it in Italian, so I knew it was a lady. I imagined her as a woman in her thirties, not as beautiful anymore as she had blossomed years before; before monetary restrictions and that bastard with whom she spent 5 years too many of her life and caused her a smoking addiction that made her cough every night before going to bed. Despite this, she was still beautiful. She knew where to find beauty: in red roses. It was not pathetic. It was quintessential.

Two years later, I was in a different house – mine – for the first time ever the bills quoted my first name, in front of a fridge my savings had bought, in a country I still try to settle in. Strolling in the streets of the city, in the process of discovery – my waitress position only kept me busy in the evenings, and sometimes in the mornings as recovery from the hangover. There was this shop selling world maps to scratch and solar powered statuettes of the Queen saluting or bulldogs nodding.

I peeked inside. There is no such thing like solecitous shop assistants in Belgium, and that woman’s eyes stuck on my moves revealed her fear of me stealing something. So when I found myself in front of that red box, despite it costing 20 euros and my still not having received my first month’s salary, I could not help but buy it. I was happy: I justified my presence to the woman and I could fill the surface of my new fridge that I believed looked so empty.

My first creation was something involving the only rude terms I could find in those magnets. What I would usually do then is spread the words – all, some – randomly on my kitchen table and pick those that in that moment sounded good together. These creations would not usually come up in any great grammar or sintax, or they would refer to stuff my boyfriend is not really pleased about. But every time I reassure him. Its not me who’s writing. Its a girl that never existed, created in the imagination of those drinking watermelon soaked in vodka.

Below is my latest creation. I recently have gone for dialogues. I feel that they can tell the double – how a person feels and how she or he looks like.

Sometimes I still pause and find it excitingly absurd – to place art so close to where I store chicken thighs.

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