Number 17

I don’t eat –
my shapes
are the year party
she didn’t attend

Galloping on the high wind
I long for eternity

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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.

Beleaguer -trouble, harass

He tried to hold on the floor with his nails, but its surface was so polished that he miserably slipped on it. He found himself flat on the floor, a force pulling him from the back prevented him from standing up. He started screaming as loud as he could, but no one around could care.
Why causing me such a big pain?
He turned his head, that little motherfucker laughing, enjoying pulling his tail like nothing else in the world.
Then miraculously, a voice from above:
“Jim, leave the cat alone and come have dinner please”.

 

Fillip – to urge on, stimulate

She couldn’t help crying desperately, her mother stood next to her in silence. She turned to her to make her reveal her supporting words.
The woman patted her daughter’s shoulder, finally saying: “Oh come on, surely nobody paid attention to it. Why don’t you come to the kitchen as dinner’s ready?”
The girl was stunned at the fact that those unperceptive words was everything her mother had to say on her issue.

Kibosh – something that serves as a check or a stop

She looked around her. The wooden pilasters were so high she could barely see where they ended. She squeezed her hand in between two of them. But the distance was so narrow she could barely get until her forearm. She shook them. Nothing. Solid as concrete. She started screaming and crying, hoping that her voice could reach beyond that cage.

Footsteps from the corridor. Relaxed as if she was not living a state of danger. She started screaming harder to capture the whoever was that person’s attention. A woman came into the room.

Hands! Hands that grabbed and lifted her up.

“Shh shh…what’s going on love? Don’t you like your new bed?”

Her mom started cradling her while the little daughter still flooded her cheeks with tears.