Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: I Fell in Love.

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Decades ago

In another lifetime

I fell in love

With a beautiful young man.

 

We were barely adults

On the brink

Of becoming

All kinds of things

Beyond what we were

In that sliver of time

And he was my first big love.

 

All capital letters

BIG.

 

I fell hard and fast

I fell deep and wide

I fell

Hopelessly

Painfully

Tragically

In love with this boy-man.

 

When you fall like that

It can only end badly

And it did.

 

All capital letters

BAD.

 

Time and distance

The years pass quickly

But untold seconds

Slow the clock of the heart.

 

Still I think of him

Way more than

Reason or rationality

And good common sense

Dictate that I should.

 

Sometimes I think

It’s sweet that I do

But there are times

When I think it’s

Either bat-shit crazy

Or sadly heartbreaking.

 

All capital letters

SAD.

 

 

 

Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Friday Night Dinner.

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This is a little fictional riff I wrote on routines and rituals, the dance of love, the intricacies of marriage and cooking Italian on Friday nights.

Pasta and Salad

They were back to back cooking Friday night dinner. The usual. Pasta and salad. He asked her what she was thinking. She told him the truth. He changed his mind about slicing the cherry tomato in half. Instead he turned to admire her lovely sensual back as she stirred the marinara sauce.

Basil and Oregano

His grip tightened. The sweetness of freshly plucked basil and oregano enveloped the kitchen. The spaghetti strap on her white cotton sundress slipped loosely over her tanned shoulder. Her hair scooped high in a messy tail exposed her delicate neck. He was no longer hungry. The truth had that affect on him.

Marinara Sauce

The sway to her hips as she grooved to Coldplay broke his heart. Nobody said it was easy. They got that right. Her sultry Italian lips kissed the wooden spoon smothered in steaming marinara. When they first started cooking together she would invite him to taste her sauce. But it was no longer his palate that she was seeking to please.

Steamy Sacred Ritual

She adjusted the seasoning and plunged the spoon back into the thick rich sauce. He noticed that one of her turquoise earrings was missing and this made him feel sad. God, it was hotter than hell outside and sizzling in their tiny kitchen. Yet she insisted on keeping this weekly culinary ritual. “Sacred,” she called it. Insane, was more like it.

Boiling Water

He was sweating bullets yet she was cool as a cucumber. Her full childbearing hips rotated in pulsing infinity circles. Round and round. Effortlessly sustaining the rhythm of the driving guitar riff, all the while stirring the marinara. Irony is cruel at times. Some voids were impossible to fill. The stainless steel pasta pot, a wedding gift from her parents, had come to a full boil. Spitting and splashing beads of water violently onto the stove top. Like angry tears. He could relate.

Fistfuls of Linguine.

As she reached for the pasta, he could see the thin translucent scar on the inside of her fragile wrist. Exposed and formidable. Skimming the surface of her veins. He longed to run his finger across it. Feel her vulnerability once more. He remembered how red and swollen it was at first. Like a lost river. But they were beyond that now. She measured the linguine by fistfuls. One for him. One for her. One for the pot. Just in case.

Forks and Other Kokkengrej.

She reached for the stainless steel fork that was stuffed in the pottery utensil jar next to the stove. It was the big one he used to remove the steaks from the BBQ. He knew it was bad form to pierce the meat like that. Releases their juices, she would chastise. Toughens the meat and makes it hard to chew. He knew this. But he couldn’t resist the urge to stab. Impale lifeless objects. It was in his blood. He was once an ancient warrior. She was the Goddess of basil and other fine herbs.

Al Dente.

He leaned back on the counter and watched as she stirred the pasta. He had difficulty breathing around her. There was a time when this was fun. And romantic. He closed his eyes and remembered. How she used to test the spaghetti. How she’d take a few strands and toss them across the room. How they giggled and applauded the sticky ones. How they carved their love in steam.

Breaking Bread

She insisted he cut the bread into perfectly polite little pieces. “It’s not rocket science,” he scoffed as he pulled out the scarred pine board and prepared the filone for cutting. It wasn’t all that different from sawing a piece of wood. A skill he had mastered at his father’s side by the time he was eight. She was all wrong about the bread though. It was made to be broken, torn and ripped apart. Stuffed into their mouths like savages.

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Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: First Love.

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This is a bit I wrote for my beautiful daughter when she was seventeen. Bittersweet. 

 

Last night

I tried to explain

First Love Heartbreak

And why you hurt so much.

 

Love is complicated

Messy and not always fair

Happily ever after

Isn’t guaranteed

The odds aren’t in our favor.

 

I didn’t want you to learn about

These intricate feelings

While you were so young

I hoped you’d be

As old as dirt

Like me

Before this happened

Or better still I hoped

You’d beat the odds

And be one of the rare ones

Whose First Love

Was your Forever Love.

 

You are my beautiful girl

Who up until last night

Believed in the art

Of romantic gestures

The nuance of passion

And lyrical promises.

 

Right now

You’re not only mourning

The end of something

You thought would last forever

Or at least longer than it did

You’re mourning

The loss of The First.

 

The knowledge that

You’ll never have that again

Is the frustrating veracity

The slap of reality

The cold water

Splashed in your face

The agony and anguish

We all want to escape.

 

You cried and said

You would never love another

The way you loved him

And the truth is

You won’t.

 

You only get one

Like this.

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Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Take What You Need.

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I found this note taped to a bank of mailboxes.

They are part of the scenery on the country road that I walk every day.

This is how I do lunch.

Take what you need, it said.

So I did.

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The next day I passed this same bank of mailboxes.

The note with the offer to ‘take what you need’ was gone.

Maybe it was just a one-day thing.

Like a sale at Walmart.

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For a second I was saddened by its sudden disappearance.

Then I smiled to myself and moved on.

Because I still have what I took.

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Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Snapshot of Ma in the Driveway at 204.

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Ma stood in the driveway waiting for her sister Hazel to come and pick her up to go shopping at Intercity. I sat in the orange plaid swivel rocker and watched her from the living room window.

The sky was clear and blue and the snow was crisp and clean. The snow banks were so high on either side of the driveway entrance that they dwarfed Ma’s already small frame. She was wearing her gray fake fur coat. I don’t know what animal it was imitating. Her purse was draped across her chest. She wasn’t wearing a hat.

While she was waiting, she traced the snow in an arc with the toe of her boot. Like a windshield wiper. Back and forth. Every now and then she would pause and look down the street for my Auntie Hazel’s car.

Her cheeks were blushed red from the cold air and her dark eyes were so bright and alive. I had to remind myself that she was well into her seventies.

I will always remember her that way. The image of her at the end of the driveway, with the winter sun shining its pure radiant light on that particular spot, in that particular solitary moment, and on that particular woman, just for me to see. To bear witness.

And in that sacred, intimate and private moment, my heart was overflowing with tenderness. And love.

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Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Don’t Waste Your Pretty.

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Girl Warrior. Don’t waste your pretty on anyone who is unworthy. Consider that thought for a moment. Let it sink in. Allow it to ooze into the deepest place inside your generous heart and beautiful mind. For it is here that you will know the truth.

And the truth is Girl Warrior you are one fabulous chick.

You deserve to be surrounded by sweet heart-stopping goodness. Pure and simple. Drop anything less than that like a bad habit. Kick their sorry ass to the curb. Don’t wave or blow a kiss goodbye. Put them in your rear view mirror. Permanently. Save all your heavenly kisses for the good ones. For they are out there just waiting for your warm embrace.

Be radical about this knowledge. Wrap your brilliant brain around this information. Fill your soul with this awareness. Grasp the importance of this concept. And hold onto this big idea for dear life.

Seek extravagant love. The best love. The kind of love that is true to the marrow. That sees, with breathtaking clarity, your pretty in all its magical complicated layers. The kind of love that holds like crazy-glue. No matter what.

Because Girl Warrior, your pretty is too precious to be unappreciated.

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Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: A Mother’s Prayer for Peace.

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Dear God,

It’s the middle of the night,

And I cannot sleep.

The rain is pounding on the roof

And the wind is howling outside my window.

But I am safe and warm,

Comforted by my feather duvet.

My faithful dog curled up at my feet

And my husband breathing softly next to me

Our children safe in their beds

Surrendered to dreams,

Sweet sweet dreams.

Yet my heart is not at peace,

It is broken with sadness.

For out there

Somewhere in a world I do not know

In countries I’ve only seen on TV

Are other families

With mothers just like me,

Who but for your gentle grace

Live a different life.

One not privileged with

Warm safe beds to rest,

To sleep, to dream of tomorrow.

Their lives, every bit as precious as mine

Are torn apart and shattered –

By fear

And hate

And hunger

And disease

And disaster

And ignorance

WAR.

I pray for these loving mothers

And for their dear families

That they ALL

Each and every one

Have what I have

And know, truly know

What it’s like

To go to bed at night

And NOT be filled with fear

That their beautiful child,

Every bit as precious as mine,

Won’t be harmed

Or blown to pieces

By an enemy no one really knows.

God, I pray that all these mothers

Know at least one moment of peace.

And that that moment grows and grows

Like a wave across the world.

A graceful, gentle, loving wave of peace.

It begins with one moment

And grows from moment to moment.

It begins with one mother

And grows from mother to mother.

And it saves one child

And grows from child to child.

May we share this moment of peace

Mothers of the world.

Now I lay me down to sleep.

Amen.

In gratitude and love,

boo king

Photo on 2015-05-09 at 11.57 AM