Of Lard and Honey

Posted: September 6, 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

2% Partly Skimmed Milk Splash

Image by Robbie's Photo Art via Flickr

I had as part of a simple exercise to write about longings. I didn’t think longings were something you would wake up in the middle of day and say, there, go long yourself inside her heart. I knew better. But then there I was drinking from the heavy green ceramic cup. Charleston roasted coffee – a dash of skim milk and some Splenda and I am transported: this is in early Porto Alegre. Sunday afternoon, summer time. You can hear a dog here and there, but distant, lazy, as even the dogs didn’t have much left to bark about. You can definitely hear some flies. They buzz and they sit on you so tenderly and yet so disgustingly. And you hear honey bees and a child calling someone, from somewhere. A horses trotting down the road but you don’t want to see it. Its hot. We walk up the steep hill. Everyone of us in expectation of what we will find there. we walk, we kick a rock, we let our hands flop against an iron fence we dirty up our dresses and he remember that we really should be washing our socks because there is school tomorrow and now we will have to go in dirty again. We make to Ms. Assumptions house. A black dog under the house cocks one year and we must be ok to pass. the yellow one gets happier about the visit and tries to come in with us. A house shoe is hurled from the inside and the dogs gets back to his dirt floor. it wasnt meant for youz, comonin, now and we, not knowing the rules of engagement, the rules of mendicancy, not knowing the rules of decency, not knowing the rules of charity extended, we filed orderly and sat ourselves around the large table covered in blue checkered linoleum. You could smell the coffee and there was a bowl of soft lard and a bowl of sugary honey already set out for someone. Mother knew her role well, she sat down politely away from the table and made conversation about the weather, about the economy, about vagrant dogs, about the friars on the other side of the hill, about the japanese people who now owned the supermarket and let her get two loaves of bread and pay for only one, and Ms. Assumption seemed to have the exact measure of conversation she was willing to trade for the meal that would follow defined in her head. Or it might have been a sense of charity an effort to preserve our pride, although we didn’t have any because price and hunger do not a shake make. At the chosen moment, she would get up and make the coffee. she made straight in the small teapot looking thing. Aluminum, shone into silver tones by her red hands, it had a few dings here and there. You could hear the urinating like song of the hot water poured into the dark brown flannel filter: when the sound stopped, it was half way full and we knew that she would bring out the fresh bread already sliced in anticipation of our visit. She insisted, soft lard and honey are the best thing to put some meat on our bones. And even though lard felt coarse onto our tongues, we tried, dutifully and hoped against hope that the honey would cover all the lard and that at no time, we would taste the awful thing. When you did, you could gulp down the golden black coffee and it erase any lard from our palates. Two slices and a cup of black coffee. Not bad after an afternoon hike up the hill in a summer afternoon with all your brothers and sisters and mother at different stages of melancholy and mental disarray.

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