M, N, O

M is for Motherhood.

The mother looks at the daughter and wonders how they have come to this.
This terrible, terrible silence.
They sit at the table, eating separate meals, the daughter refuses to eat meat, but also spurns most vegetables, so eats slightly over-cooked pasta with badly grated cheese, the mother, setting a good example has added tomatoes, onions to her bowl of pallid spaghetti.
She wonders if it is too early to open a bottle of wine and decides that it probably is.
She remembers other meal times, the child smaller, desperate to help in the kitchen, carefully setting a place for the stuffed bear, the floppy tiger cuddly toy.
The daughters’ phone ring and they both heave a sigh of relief.

N is for Nudity

She slips the swimming costume off, the straps catch slightly on the oily slick of her shoulder blades, the dealy make the movement less casual than she had hoped for.
The sea is still, that stillness that comes at the end of a beach day, as if the sea itself was tired of constant movement.
she has choosen her position on the beach carefully, close enough to the waters edge to allow a quick entrance, far enough away from the last family, delaying their inevetiable exit, laden with toddlers and sandy towels and soggy swim suits.
She stands up, towel draped descretley around her and walks purposefully towards the sea.
Dropping the towel and her modesty on the damp sand, she plunges in. The water is colder than she expected, takes her breath away, but then she is emerged, small waves lapping at her. She cannot believe the difference the removal of such a small piece of clothing makes.

O is for Orange.

On not eating days, you allow yourself 3 small oranges. You line them up on the desk, move them around, re-arrange them according to size or levels of shineiness, edibility.
You try and decide the best times to eat them, they have to last 24 hours and you have learnt the hard way that this minimal eating must be paced carefully.
At 11 o clock you start the peel the first one, painstakingly, you remove every tiny piece of skin, use a finger nail to pull at every trace of white inner peel.
Then you separate each segment, make petal shapes, act out tiny dramas with slices standing in for characters.
At 11.30 you eat the first slice, it is less juicy than you hoped.
You tell yourself that you can eat another slice at 11.45.

About cathi rae

50ish teacher & aspiring writer and parent of a stroppy teenager and carer for a confused bedlington terrier and a small selection of horses who fail to shar emy dressage ambitions. Interested in contemporary fiction but find myself returning to PG Wodehouse when the chips are down View all posts by cathi rae

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