Tuesday, June 28, 2005

In the news today: Shark bit boy – shark killed girl.

My mother said, "I think it's about time I left this family." I followed her around pleadingly, waiting for her to change her mind. We were in the high-rise flat in the tiny French town where my dad took students on their junior years abroad. She seemed good and fed up. Naturally being the child I felt I was to blame. She went into the kitchen and took a pan down off the shelf, her gestures brusque and scary. She jerked the refrigerator open and got two eggs. Lit the stove and buttered the pan. Cracked the eggs in sunny side up – hsssshhh! hssssssshh! – and then she did something I'll not forget as long as I live. She took a little fistful of raw rice and sprinkled it upon the yolks. I'd never seen her cook anything that wasn't for us, so I wondered, Is this what she eats? Very soon she slid it all on a plate, a hot and runny mess. It seemed delicious somehow, crunchy grains drowning in flows of egg and butter. She ate it ferociously, oblivious to everything but her plate. I wanted some but knew better than to ask. This was her food.

Tonight was a hot and rainy night.