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Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash. Leonard Cohen

Monday, March 7, 2011

Out of Garlic

image from Magpie Tales 56
She pressed the flat edge of the knife against the clove of garlic then brought her hand down upon it with a sharp "smack," perhaps a little harder than necessary. She heard the satisfying crack as the skin of the garlic peeled open, revealing the smooth, white clove. How many garlic cloves had she peeled to saute in oil and add to the countless pots of tomato sauce she'd simmered for countless hours on the stove? She imagined that the months and years of her married life could be tallied up by garlic cloves and pots of sauce. Still, after 23 years, her sauce couldn't compete with his mother's. That she used his mother's recipe held no sway; there was always something missing. Probably those apron strings. Anyway, it didn't matter now. This would be the last pot of sauce he got from her. After this, he could go to his mother's for sauce. Or get it from the Ragu in the jar!

She put the heavy iron pot on the stove to simmer. It did smell good! She filled another pot with salted water for the pasta and left it, too, on the stove, unlit. He could figure out how to boil water, couldn't he? She set up the Mr. Coffee to come on about 10 minutes before he was to arrive home so that his coffee would be hot. There was a full container of milk in the refrigerator. The week's laundry was done early, so all of his clothes were cleaned and put away. She suddenly felt a small flutter of excitement and nervousness as she picked up a pen and wrote,

Dear Anthony,

I'm leaving you. I don't love you any more, and I know you stopped loving me a long time ago. There is sauce on the stove and water for pasta. Your sandwich for lunch tomorrow is in the refrigerator. 

Yours,
Angela

P.S. You're out of garlic

submitted for Magpie Tales 56

26 comments:

Bee's Blog said...

Great read - smiling!

thingy said...

Wow. Food and memories. Powerful.

Martin H. said...

Quite a parting shot!

nene said...

'sniffle' 'sniffle'...love can come quickly, sometimes out of nowhere, but when it leaves it dissipates gradually like the many garlic peels that lay on the counter and floor.

Phewww!!! that was cathartic.

Elaine said...

Oh how sad! I guess mom will cook for him though. I enjoyed this, even though it was a little sad.

Shari Sunday said...

Well, I hope she means it and doesn't feel compelled to come back and do next week's laundry. Wonder what she will do now? Interesting thought.

Paige said...

let me just say...mouse droppings is the greatest name ever!

azfree said...

Good write! Ah the grip of his mother's sauce. Ragu from now on for him!!

Rachel Hoyt said...

Hehe. That's a funny story. :)

Olivia said...

Oh!!!!
This is a complete pot of delicacy- all flavors included.
Humor, sadness (in marriage), spunk.. and a huge heart full of love!

Hats off to your creativity lady :) Who would have thought to spin it in the manner that you did? I find your words put up after running through the proper ingredients check- always with some humor and surprise element in it.

I loved it :D
Hugs xxx

Dave King said...

Touching - not sure if it's the situation or the garlic. A good read, though. Beautifully written.

Lyn said...

Oh, those apron strings!! Brilliant...the last line, still taking care...

Shari Sunday said...

Hi. Great job. Very entertaining. I thought I left a comment but I don't see it. Just revisiting my favorite posts and wanted to let you know.

Mary said...

Oh my, that's so good. I writ poetry, and often I skip reading the prose pieces, but you hooked me with this. Bravo!

gautami tripathy said...

Great read!

I really like how we get so many ideas out of one photo. Everyone interpreting it differently.

viscous time

signed...bkm said...

Love it and I know the feeling of never being able to be someone's mother...but the mothering needed....I did not even write a note....nice...bkm

Jingle said...

thoughtful tale..

love the detailed descriptions.
:)

Tumblewords: said...

Nifty!

Máire T. Robinson said...

I loved this, especially the wry humour of "probably those apron strings." : )

Lena said...

Aaaah - that was so sorrowful yet nice. Mine would have been lucky I didn't tip the bin over him!!

Kavita said...

Serves him right!! I hope he doesn't mess up the pasta now.. whheww!
Ragu it will be for him, from now on... :)

A superb read, Lola...

Trellissimo said...

He probably doesn't know you need to boil pasta . .
Nice interpretation of the Magpie.

Helen said...

Ouch ... that parting blow must have hurt!!! Ragu will do!

Brian Miller said...

this is an enjoyable read and begs formore...that she did all for him in her prep to leave says much...

Tess Kincaid said...

Wonderful read!

M. A. S. said...

I love the thought of a married summing up to garlic and mediocre tomato sauce. Great piece of flash fiction.

P.S.

I never knew you had this blog!