read chapter 14 over on greenlydia
The weather is colder today than it has been lately, apparently there’s snow on the mountains at the moment which would account for the bite in the air, so I bundle up warm and don one of the many beanies hanging at my front door. I always found it fascinating to sit and watch Mama crochet and when I showed an interest in learning Mama all but hugged the air out of me, babbling away in fast Italian and fetching balls of yarn for me. I’ll never be as good as Mama but at least now I can make the basics and because of this everyone I know, including myself, gets handmade goods for special occasions which explains what to some might seem like a fetish for beanies. Everything covered with what feels like a million layers I head of to Mama and Papa.
The café is closed today, it’s always closed on my birthday, so I let myself in through the little side gate that leads to the separate entrance and come face to face with Frankie. It’s all spit and slobber kisses from Frankie, you’d think that a Rottweiler would be a little more menacing but this one couldn’t kill a fly if it played dead on his nose, he grabs my sleeve and pulls me along to the back door. The café only makes up the bottom front of the old double story with the actual living quarters taking up the full top and the guest quarters making up the rest of the bottom but the garden, matching the house in size, is the main attraction for anyone who has been round back. Where it’s hard to keep Papa out of his kitchen it’s even harder to keep Mama out of her garden, all the herbs and vegetables and even most of the fruit that is used in the café comes straight out of Mama’s garden.
I try shoo Frankie off me but he decides it’s a game and starts tossing my hand around like a rag doll, I’m just thankful it’s my jacket wedged in his jaw and not actual flesh. All of a sudden he stops his onslaught and bounds past me, nearly knocking me over in the process. I rotate my wrist to make sure everything is in working order and notice that the little shit has torn a whole in my sleeve. I turn around and everyone is standing behind me having a jolly old laugh at my expense but scowling at them only has them laughing harder. I walk over to Mama, sticking my tongue out at Michael and Papa who are now mimicking my reaction to Frankie’s attack, and give her a hug. Mama pulls me in tight and holds on for a while before pulling away and shoving a pair of gardening gloves in my hand.
Every year on this day we plant some sort of tree, it’s a tradition that Mama says is for someone very dear to them who was lost on the same day. I stopped asking why they insist on celebrating my birthday if it’s such a day of sadness for them, I never had them as a child so it’s not something I was used to before they came along, don’t get me wrong though, I love it and am so honoured that they’ve let me weave my way into their lives like I have. I get up and dust the dirt off my knees once we’ve finished planting the tree and indicate to Mama that I’m going to head inside to make lunch.
There are some fresh breads Papa must have gotten up early to back and I put them aside as I set up a large serving tray with an assortment of cheeses olives and oils. Grabbing the breads I start slicing a few pieces which I’m sure I’ll get flack for as Papa is always insisting “bread must be broken Winter, broken not cut” but it just looks so much neater and easier to manage. Mama and Papa are standing hand in hand by the newly planted tree, I can see Papa reach up and wipe a tear from Mama’s check before giving her a kiss and Fuck! Just sliced my finger open. I quickly shove it into my mouth and turn to slug Michael on the shoulder for sneaking up on me. The laughter stops though when he notices the bleeding finger, he takes my hand and drags me over to the wash basin to clear it off, instructing me to leave it under the cold water. He rummages through all the cupboards before coming up from under the zink with a triumphant smile and a bandaid in hand, tap off and finger dried he wraps it up and gives it a kiss. I can’t help but smile but quickly turn away and grab for the ice tea and follow Michael outside as he picks up the large tray laden with all the feasts.
It’s been an amazing day spent with the people who mean the most to me but I’m glad to be back in the comforts of my own home surrounded by the smell of paint and wood shavings. I deposit my gift bag on the kitchen counter, shed some layers and head to my computer. I saw an email come in from Iris as I headed home and wanted to respond quickly before turning in for the night.
Attached: Pages6to 11.pdf
RE: RE: RE: So watcha doing?
Everything alright? You seem a little off in this email. Ignore me if there’s nothing wrong, it just seems to read that way. Hope that the attachment will cheer you up a bit, pages 6 to 11 for you to look over. Let me know if there are any changes that need to be made.
The story of your dogs antics completely made up for the hearing about my hearing comment. Which is fine by the way, me be deaf that is. Wait, I’m making no sense. One should not send emails after consuming wine with friends on one’s birthday. Make a note of that, it might come in handy one day.
I wouldn’t call you unsuccessful; I read your book and thoroughly enjoyed it despite the poor choice in title. I have a copy I wouldn’t mind you signing one day. Yes I just asked that. As for men, who needs ‘em right? Oh who am I kidding, of course we do.
Fresh baked bread… Someone very dear to me always says that it brings people from all walks of life together and I wholeheartedly agree. Bread changed my life.
I hit send and get up. I shrug off my jacket, kick off my shoes, grab the little gift bags and take away I got from Michael and the Matteo’s and head to my room.