Monday, January 25, 2010

Three Course Disaster

The cream was meant to go with the apple pie for pudding but an ill-judged, violent dash onto the train just before the doors closed had disastrous consequences. She watched in dismay as the white stain spread across the carriage floor and thought desperately of what to serve instead - custard? Creme fraiche? Ice cream? Or... perhaps the pie didn't need any sort of sauce and she could dish up each slice with a small napkin printed neatly with "Go fucking fuck yourselves!" on it. The dinner party was not her idea, the guests were not her choice, the menu was dish after dish of food she hated and the spilled cream seeping into her shoes was the last straw.

She carefully plucked out the upended pot of cream from the dripping bag of shopping and placed it in the middle of the white pool. Then, side-stepping the widening, glistening cream slick, she stood by the doors, waiting for the next station with a completely blank expression.

As she disembarked from the train, she reached into her shopping bag and pulled out a package of chicken thighs which she flung over her shoulder on to the platform without a backward glance. She continued towards the stairs and the ticket hall, tossing fresh figs and shallots and unwaxed lemons and harissa paste and parma ham and garlic stuffed olives in fierce overarm arcs all around her.

By the time she got through the ticket barrier and onto the street, there were trampled, discarded dinner party items all over the station and a trail of footsteps marking a furious, milky, stamping track up and down the stairs. These ended abruptly in a big splash of thick, sticky red wine and shattered glass, from which a new trail of footsteps led away, red and ominous and unswerving like the fleeing of a killer from the scene of crime, onto the next in a hideous, unhinged spree.

Monday, January 18, 2010

A New Wardrobe for a Growing Girl

Two friends of mine had lots of leftover black velvet from upholstering some armchairs and wanted beanbags made from the material. I offered to cut and sew the beanbags and had a very enjoyable weekend in my living room, sitting at my sewing machine as rain lashed at the windows. I took this photo to capture the perfect contentment of the afternoon and to remind myself to do more sewing, especially if I can please my friends as much as pleasing myself in the process.

Gloria was unable to put it off any longer. She was getting bigger and she needed new clothes. But it was awkward to find new shirts and trousers for her new, much more unwieldy figure. She was more self-conscious than she had ever been since her expansion had begun. The symptoms of a major change had started a year ago and she had tried all sorts of things to resist the new shape her body seemed to be pursuing completely against her will. But one morning, she woke up, feeling uncomfortable, breathless and aching and she knew it had finally happened. Gloria emerged from bed a different person, still recognisable as herself but irredeemably changed. And it was time, though it was with great regret that she acknowledged it, to wear new and better fitting clothes.

With a sigh, Gloria opened her wardrobe and selected the clothes she could tackle straightaway. Jeans and cotton shirts could be adjusted fairly easily, opening a few seams, sewing new material in; there was going to be a lot of patching and adding but until she could muster the courage to go shopping out in public, this would have to do. She spent some time undoing stitches, widening armholes, cutting panels and tacking in new material until it was time to move on to the sewing machine. As she pressed her foot to the pedal and the first line of stitches appeared on her light blue shirt, she knew this was it: the confirmed start of her new life with her new body. Though she felt a little sad, she pressed on and worked the rest of the day, sewing an extra sleeve to each shirt and an extra leg to each pair of trousers.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Serves Four

I ate it all myself. The second spoon was for the chocolate sprinkles I added on top. That night, I dreamt my hands had turned the same shade of yellow as the custard in the trifle and everytime I touched something, it turned yellow too. I woke up sucking my thumbs and a corner of the duvet.

The next time I went to the supermarket, I picked up a tiramisu for two. When I went to sleep, I was at home in my bed and dreamt that I was in the olive grove behind a beautiful Tuscan farmhouse. A young man called Marco was walking away, bare chested, smiling over his shoulder at me as I lay on the warm, dry grass.

I went to the supermarket this evening. I bought a tiramisu again. This one serves six.