Goodbye (Part 2)

Click here for Part 1.

It was a chemical reaction–an effervescent response to the idea that happiness could be distributed over the counter.

Aren’t they marvellous? Marketing people–

who study humanity’s weaknesses with microscopic precision taking apart every decision made with free will knowing fully well that there was no free will to begin with,

who laugh secretly in their cubicles and then in harmony in their meeting rooms as their formula turns into a positive case study for future business grads.

Meanwhile my mother is trying everything she can to make her love appealing.

Her apron is stained with dejection and the colours are faded on one side, where she rubs her hands when she is nervous.

How can she compete with business models market analyses graphic designers extraordinaire dream-sellers food pornography?

She can’t, so she responds by giving in, by buying me what I want and I love her for it and she grieves in her own way.

I am still young and manage to eat my way through my troubles without a problem but my mother doesn’t know it for I don’t eat her cooking.

She has lost me and she doesn’t know it.

I am faring a mile high above, trying desperately to spread frozen butter evenly on hard white tasteless bun, on my way to get an over-priced education in Real Life.

I land nervous and cold, hungry for anything familiar and see signs of known designer food in a different currency.

I feel safe in that tub of luke warm curry sauce, dunking my salty fries.

I am thanked by a wooden garbage bin for clearing my tray and I walk away with my oversized plastic drink which will soon just be ice.

I feel sick and so I call my mother. She asks me if I have been eating well and what I cooked for breakfast lunch dinner and I tell her nothing.

She asks me if I have some instant soup and crackers at least and to avoid fat and to take fluids (take lots and lots of fluids).

She asks me to make rice porridge: Grind roasted rice grains and cook the powder in milk and add a bit of sugar (because I like sugar and she knows that that’s how I like it).

She asks me if I can manage–Yes, Mother, I can and I will and I must.

I learn international cuisine for it’s easier to avoid a label when there’s no smell of my heritage.

Pasta al dente mediterranean roasted chicken baked beans from a can french salad dressing aceto balsamico and I am settled in.

She came to visit me recently and brought some homemade spice mixes–the whole spices roasted in the right order in the right proportion, a perfected method distilled from centuries of meditation on sensation–in ziplock bags.

I opened a bag and the world around me dissolved, and there was just the whistle of that pressure cooker

and that sizzle of fresh green chillies in hot oil and the popping of the black mustard seeds that would fascinate me and would always pop onto my face

and I would turn around to bury my face in my mother’s apron that smelled of turmeric cumin coriander

and I cried for my homogenised existence.

22 thoughts on “Goodbye (Part 2)

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  1. A while back I wrote about the difficulty of capturing odors in poetry. Well, you actually triggered my Amygdala with this piece! I had a powerful sense of longing for abandoned innocence as I read this, and with that feeling came a flash scent of my grandmother’s kitchen at Thanksgiving as she baked molasses cookies and rolled bourbon balls for for the coming christmas season. Thank you for the memory. {Hug}

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a lovely memory. It tugged at my tear ducts. Thank you so much for sharing your reading experience with me, it means a lot. It’s so gratifying and incredibly magical to hear that I was successful in creating the same state in you that I was in while writing this piece. I am beginning to trust my judgement on words. You’ve helped me more than you know. Hug!


  2. That’s a great story, I’m glad you see those aspects of life and questions them. That’s introduction was a great connector, learning more about the spirit behind the blog. Again, nailing it!! You’re a consistent lady!! Top notch.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Believe me I know that, the poetry, the prose always feel richer when they are honest and true. And thank you for sharing your work. I always look forward to your posts 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful! Sam, (everytime I come to your blog I’m reminded of Sam aka Samantha from Hungry as the Sea by Wilbur Smith). Lots of us have felt these pangs of separation, where we had to fend for ourselves and had to wait to return home to eat real food….simple food but real food….
    Thanks for sharing and reviving memories….

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A powerful message in your story, Sam. Times change and we move on. But, as you say, there is a price to be paid. Many of the older generation find the ever changing world very difficult to cope with. Nicely written. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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