Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Reading the Obituaries

"True Romance #5"
in True Stories ~ by Margaret Atwood

I don't think about you as much as I ought to, I don't have to, you're there whether I think about you or not. Many people aren't.

When I do think about you it's not what you'd expect. I don't want to be with you: most of the time that would be an interruption for both of us. I like to consider you going about your routine. I think about you getting up, brushing your teeth, having breakfast [and reading the obituaries]. I vary the breakfasts, though I don't devise anything too fanciful for you, I stick to cornflakes, orange juice, eggs, things like that. No strawberries out of season. I find it soothing to think about you eating these mundane and in fact somewhat austere breakfasts. It makes me feel safe.

But why should you go on eating breakfast at the same time, in the same way, day after day, just so I will be able to feel safe? You're contented enough, true, but there must be more. I'm getting around to that. One of these mornings, when you reach the bottom of your cup, coffee or tea, it could be either, you will look and there will be a severed finger, bloodless, anonymous, a little signal of death sent to you from the foreign country where they grow such things. Or you will glance down at your egg, four minutes, sitting in its dish white and as yet uncracked and serene as ever, and sunlight will be coming out of it. But on second thought your coffee cup will be vacant and the egg, when you finally close your eyes and slice it open blindly with the edge of your spoon, will have nothing in it that is not ordinarily there. Then you will know that at last I have imagined you perfectly.

Breakfast Pottery by Emma Bridgewater


Previous March First Posts

2010: Kiss Me & Kiss Today

2011: My Vegetable Love

2012: Love However Brief

2013: Beyond Ideas

2014: The First [Mild] Day of March

2015: Wind from a Leaf


An Anne Taintor for Michael Lipsey!

1 comment:

  1. I would go mad with those polkadots on the breakfast table!