Your little face has shrunk and your wrinkled hands have started to shake and your strong legs that carried you for 80 years have stopped working properly. The strength you have shown is something I can only wish for. Your mind is addled but at the same time totally free of the grief you lived through. I wish the best for you like you do for all of us. Days filled with talking and singing and dancing. Days of comfort and safety, so much so you feel it in your heart. That you don’t worry. All those years you took care of us, it is time for us to take care of you.
It was pitch black outside only guided by the glow of snail slime left behind. My first birth and I was hyper. It was well past midnight but adrenaline stopped me from sleeping. Flashlights and tractors and giddiness. Within moments she was on her feet and running around. My eyes were focused on her through the dark as she ran with her mother and interacted with her. The first feel of her was like nothing else I had felt. It was softer than velvet, almost buttery, silky but velvet. Her coat was slick from birth. I tapped her hooves and petted her ears and ran my hand over her tail just like the magazine told me. Get her used to me as soon as possible. Ever since that night, I got a hug from her only when she wasn’t mad at me. She would walk up to me and put her head behind my back to pin me to her chest. When she was mad at me, she would walk away from me when I would walk up to her. She was multi-dimensional. Beyond a pet, like a gift from the Universe. The day they got rid of her, my heart broke. I can say with entire truth, I think about Cassie every day.
Where time stops and runs. A place where venom and sugar meet. Bad cancels good and we are left with numbness and fullness and neutrality.
That is this year’s Christmas.
My soul loves London but my body doesn’t.
It shudders in the crowds and fills my brain with paranoid thoughts.
My palms sweat and I can’t eat when I am there.
But that is part of the draw.
Thin sheets of pasta
start to flow effortlessly
through metal rollers.
Novice hands fumble
dough sticks within the machine
Let me start over.
I give up with this
this was a dumb idea
I will eat store bought.
The delight and anticipation I get when I take the slightly damp green cardboard box from the canvas shopping bag. Frozen pizza is a delicacy when you get the right one and my favourite is definitely that. It makes me think of comfort and my home kitchen and tracksuit bottoms. The box is always nearly disintegrated by the time I get to it and the crumpled plastic casing is withered but the contents within are in prime condition. It is pasty white and not in a ‘beautifully handmade pizza yet to be cooked’ kind of way. No, this is a mass produced, guaranteed uniform flavour every time you buy a box pizza. This is the comfort I want sometimes, no risk, a good pizza every time. The oven is so hot I can feel it without opening its door and when I do, it fogs my glasses.
The wait is hard, but the after-wait is harder. Pizza of all kinds are a godsend but cold pizza is another level. After the excruciating fifteen to twenty minutes of cooking time, I then practice my patience for another twenty minutes until it is cool. That is when this pizza is at its prime. The cheese is golden and the crust is brown and you can take a bite without burning through your bones. With the pizza cutter, I cut perfect quarters – this isn’t a night for a slice or two. With each quarter, I drizzle olio picante from Italy and gather all necessary foods into the sitting room.
The first bite is indescribable which isn’t a great situation for a writing challenge so I will try. Unlike a “proper” pizza, the cheese doesn’t melt into a blanket of mozzarella but stays in its original grated form. This makes every bite simple and lacking the struggle of pulling cheese from the slice. The chili oil then hits my tongue and the soft coating of spice is welcomed to cut through the fats and oils of the pizza.
It leaves me very full and very content. It is simple food at its best, zero thought put into the making and even less thought put into the cooking but, the eating is a pleasure. This is an item that gives me a faux sense of comfort and safety. Everything is well when you can guarantee the same pizza every time.
My intuition tells me blue,
but you tell me red.
Who should I listen to?
Who do I listen to?
Anyone but me.
There are at least 7 billion opinions on this earth,
I will listen to every single one.
Every one but my own.
No one can replace you,
no one has tried.
No one can emulate you,
I have tried.
The scales are tipping to the side,
threatening to spill but she holds it upright in your place.
She is so strong,
a strength forged from a loss of you.
My first memory is fuzzy and blurred. It is clouded with falsities and forged by my physical copy of home videos. You are there but I don’t remember you, you are transparent when I think about you too hard. Everyone says you were there but all I have are my memories and I am pretty sure they are lying to me.