The tuna loaf

It was the only time we ate mayonnaise. That jar in the remotest corner of the fridge flanked by salty capers, the creamy texture yellowed and hardened around the brim. Finally, it seemed to exhale when my mother took it out.
My nose right up over the table, peering over the wood surface, because there was no odor anticipating it, only the bzzz of the kitchen robot that had called me from my bedroom. Because its smell was so muffled, like it was the beige of its color, like it was the white cloth, boiled, which covered it, hiding it until a vapor cloud, like a breath of relief, came out from the corners that the fingers of my mother gently unfolded.
“Are you making the tuna loaf?” I then asked her almost in one breath.
And she nodded without too much enthusiasm, her dry hair fixed on the scalp, her eyes didn’t meet me, I was not sure if they even looked at the metal blades blending the mixture.
And I started running through the corridors, brimful of joy, because in the end, what more exciting can a seven-year-old girl expect from a Sunday afternoon?
We sat around the table at nine, nine and a half, always too late, we had already allowed those stupid evening entertainment programs to flood us with commonplaces.
“Don’t you eat?” To my mother, the red fire of the cigarette drag was the only signal proving me she was in the balcony wrapped in darkness.
“Mom eats after” she murmured.
My rounded knife plucked the mayonnaise’s thick surface to pick up a generous portion, flickering during the delicate journey to my plate, then I dropped it with a plop on the tuna loaf slice, without worrying about spreading it. The fork sectioned the thick surface of the slice into bows-shaped pieces, forking them as to not dropping the pale yellow dressing for any reason. Then I made each one plane into my mouth, the tuna loaf was still warm and it blended together with the greasy mayonnaise, almost no chewing was needed, they descended perfectly jointed to the bottom of my throat. Pure ten minutes of ecstasy, the speed at which I ended up my plate.
Then one day my mother lent the kitchen robot to my grandmother. She never brought it back.
“I’m sorry, but that blade did not turn very well already when you gave it to me…”
And there were the bills and the car’s battery that were more expensive and the tuna loaf was never made again.
“Cause mum need the big machine to prepare it”
I asked her so many times, I did not want to give up. But no, without the kitchen robot was really impossible.
And the mayonnaise expired, and we threw it away. Mom and dad divorced. And I took my degree and left home and country.
In Belgium they put mayonnaise everywhere.

We eat with auntie and Marty tomorrow when you arrive
Last seen at 17:45.
At 18:39:
Can you prepare the tuna loaf?
Seen without reply.

Rome is warm, tremendously hot, I am steamed in the long jeans and gray sweatshirt, this morning in Brussels there were seventeen degrees. But my mother is beautiful, her shiny hair picked up with an elegant slide, her eyes skirted by a graceful green emerald.
I place my luggage in the boot.
“What are your programs for the afternoon?” She asks.
“Studying, actually. Yours?”
“I have to cook for tonight”
“What do you make in the end?”
“The tuna loaf, as you asked me”
And at dinner, my mother turns to me, shaking slightly the piece of loaf, “That’s really tasty. I do not have the kitchen robot but I used the mixer instead, and it came good the same, didn’t it? ”
But I can just nod only, my mouth is too busy in chewing the loaf and the mayonnaise that finally had met again.

Number 14

Wondering night,
candy room
my body,
its function
this moon

I lose,
I’m mad
angry me,
all me
big game,
– between
high woman,
her wine
close tears,
late time
bite stuff,
eat nice
drool grief,
now smile.

Number 13

Until a few months ago, I used to be a little bit chubbier. Just more curvy I guess, as my mother used to give me that kind of look when I was not hungry enough to have lunch like “I should be worrying about you because feeding you is what I have done through a liquidly swollen womb since even before imagining you existed, but now I think you’ll manage it until the next meal without that lasagne with mince and besciamella”.

In the last months I lost weight, maybe 6 kilos, and cannot really detect the exact reason between the variables of that period, maybe stress because of my just ended relationship and consequent moving – thus, a lot of weight lifting and walking through the city laden like a pack mule – or because of my specific attention to money, which were steadily disappearing from my bank account without proper replacement, or because I probably just realized I was eating too much – and so why not, I could have felt better without some of that little burden under my epidermis, and give myself a closer model-like appearance that every girl grew up in front of MTV channel secretly aims to.

So I was going back to the world slightly different and the world – especially the male one – looked back at me with slightly different eyes, and hands too. Especially in my home town, which is definitely more inclined to body contact – the warmer the place the more people touch each other, how funny is that – male friends and acquaintances allowed themselves to ponder on the angles of my waist when hugging me, when a kiss on the cheeks would have been enough to greet, they swept the pinched surface of my shoulders when giving me advices I did not ask for, they grabbed the easy circumference of my biceps when explaining me something I got already.

People started lingering on my body with the easiness of someone ordering a cheeseburger at McDonald’s, expecting me not to have a word on it, expecting their physical ponders to be absolutely OK, as if the shorter the travel on my now reduced body the smaller the fine to pay for violating it.

But still what those people didn’t get is that I never asked for those touches, for that colonization. Me, as every other woman, as every other human and being in whatever size and shape, we rarely want our spaces to be violated without authorization. My corners, soft flesh, thin layers, even if they have reduced their occupying areas over me, they are still the gates to my intimacy, to that part of me I want to keep away from the public, them, you, and leaning, brushing, palpating them means disregarding the ownership I have over it, my intimate self – which to be honest sometimes still really misses that besciamella and mince lasagna.