Monday, February 02, 2009

Marmalade and Iron Pyrites

A couple of days ago I mixed up my miseries to make marmalade, a bubbling pan, vicious and viscous, poured into three jars and sealed tight with a transparent film. Pompous little glass pots of seville orange stand on the side, waiting to be rubbed clean of their stickiness, the geniis inside patiently awaiting escape.
With the home-made in mind, I wrapped things around me that made my teenager mock me.
'Look in the mirror', I said, for the teenager looked just as ridiculous, only in a teenage way.
I hoped there was some milk left in the local shop; on the way down, collecting snowflakes about my person and marveling at the lone dog barking (in summer too: just one dog. I don't know why), I planned emergency strategies.
If there was no milk, could I reverse cheese? Could I be an alchemist, instead of converting iron pyrites into gold, spiriting a pint of the white stuff from a slab of the yellow?
There were three pints left in a sad empty fridge, and I joined the huge queue who had been plundering bread, milk and chocolate to see them through the day or days.
The street was full of neighbours, being friendly to each other in that unfriendly suburban way, clenched teeth smiling, clenched fists in their pockets, their children 'playing' (too clever for the real thing).
A little old man and little old lady were making their way very slowly up the hill in the middle of the road with their shopping trolleys, his'n'hers tartan.
'Why are you out?', enquired a man from his front doorstep.
I knew why they were out: the spectacular, the silent, the beautiful, the peaceful, the big toy, the sparkling chilly white blanket.


Blogger A Woman Of No Importance said...

This is just beautifully written, Helen!

2:12 PM  

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