SoCS Feb 27/16 -food

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He drooled. He actually drooled.

There I was, minding my own business at my usual window seat in Mokka. Saturday morning (early, of course), this was my ritual. Large latte, pain au chocolat, a glass of water. Yes, I know, indulgent, but heck, I work hard all week. This is me time, before I head off into town, to pay bills, do the weekly shop and then return home to take Lizzy to hockey practice, collect Saul from choir practice, and dismally, if I’m lucky, sit down for ten minutes before preparing dinner. We all eat at different times now that the kids are somewhat independent. But most of my non-work life still revolves around them and their wants and needs.

But I digress. The boy was drooling. Watching every morsel and sip that passed my lips. At first, it was an annoyance, this close scrutiny. But then the fact that I was still wearing my scarf, even inside the coffee shop, that my super-insulated gloves were laid out neatly on the table and this little boy was only wearing a ratty old T-shirt and threadbare jogging trousers niggled at my conscience.

I made a quick detour to the counter and ventured outside. The little boy was trudging down the street in front of me.

“Hey!”

He turned round, his guilty look and the fear in his eyes haunted me.

“Sorry missus. Didn’t mean to…” He looked down, shuffling his feet.

I held out my hand. The triple pack of sandwiches balanced on my palm. “For you.”

He looked and frowned. “Don’t like cheese.”

I bit back the words. Ungrateful little sod! But no. He was only a boy, after all. A hungry, cold, little boy.

“Will ham do?”

“Yes, ta. Fanks.”

He wiped at his runny nose with his bare, skinny arm.  “And some chocolate? And a drink?”

We all need to survive, somehow.

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Here’s this week’s entry into Stream of Consciousness Saturday! Please head on over to Linda’s blog to read all the delicious creativity that can be found there. This week, it’s all about food! I love food, and it loves reminding me of its presence by clinging to my hips and tummy! So, I thought I’d take a look at those who aren’t lucky enough to enjoy it in the same way. I hope you enjoyed the read.

Thank you once again to Linda for creating this vibrant community!

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Speed = Distance x Time

Charlotte ate green peppers all day long. She was a real paragon of virtue. She went to the gym every day of the week – no excuses. She didn’t drink anything except water and camomile tea. She was a fine example of health and fitness.

And then she wasn’t. Suddenly, or so it seemed, she started filling herself with fast food – McDonald’s, Burger King, Wimpy’s – and drank gallons and gallons of Coke. She started every day with a quadruple espresso with five spoons of sugar – and early mornings were a long-forgotten dream. The gym? Pfft. Who had time for that? Certainly not Charlotte any more.

In short, she started taking up a lot of bad habits.

If asked why – and many people did – she would just wave her hand dismissively and respond in a breezy fashion that she was happier this way. Who needed goals? Certainly not Charlotte. Not any more.

Of course, life is not that simple. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

Nobody had been with Charlotte when she decided to service her clapped out old car on the August bank holiday. All her friends were out of town with family and other loved ones. She was insistent that home was where she was staying  – she had gym obligations, a marathon to train for and besides, her food preferences were so different to everyone else’s that she often ended up not eating at all, which was, of course, a very bad thing. At no point would she admit that she was lonely because of it, not even to herself. So, she busied herself attending to her car. A money saving opportunity so that she could travel to the New York Marathon – so she told herself.

The whole servicing exercise went well. It was easy – at least on a car that didn’t rely on diagnostics like modern cars. Mechanics was a new skill for her, and one that she was good at.

Not quite as good as she thought. The thing that she did to the brakes on the Honda – that was the tipping point. Careering down Lakey Hill at 60mph, the B52s blaring from the new speakers she’d wired up to the cassette deck, she couldn’t have been happier. Until she tried to brake. Nothing. Nothing but a loose pedal, a blind bend and a dry stone wall hurtling towards her.

Charlotte didn’t remember the impact. The smell of leaking brake fluid and hot metal and oil spreading across the road wiped all of that from her memory banks. But the bruise across her shoulder as the seatbelt jerked her back into her seat and the body-wide aches and pains reminded her that she was damned lucky to get out alive. The car of course was a write-off. She didn’t care about that.

Life could not be planned and controlled to the finest details. It could however be enjoyed in all its fragility.

For now, eating and drinking everything she had denied herself for years was the answer. If her friends couldn’t cope with that, well, that was their problem.

Or so she told herself.

SoCS Feb 20/16 – contractions

“Don’t we always stop off for a coffee when we finish our shopping?”

“Don’t I always say not to exaggerate?”

And so the stand off begins. I’m fuming because Sarah is faffing around whilst I’m loaded down with the shopping – mostly hers, I might add – because yet again, she has ‘one of her backs’. Really? I used to be sympathetic, but ‘one of her backs’ or ‘one of her heads’ seem to me to come on when it’s most convenient for her, and as I see it, least convenient for me.

She tilts her head, smiles beguilingly. I know that look. “Oh come on, Trish! Look – there’s a free table now. Why don’t I grab it and you get the coffee, and some of that lovely Victoria sponge?”

It was kind of a question, that tiny lilt at the end of the suggestion. But I know Sarah better than that. If I don’t do as she wants, she’ll sulk. Oh, not in an obvious way, but her “Oh, OK, if you haven’t got enough money’, or whatever it is she’ll say, will be laced with childish resentment.

I’ve had it. Completely had it. “No, I’m going home. I’m tired, there are too many people in town. I just want to go home right now and put my feet up.”

I walk off, heading for the car park. Selfish perhaps, because she’ll have to get the bus if she really is in need of a caffeine and sugar hit. But I have the shopping to carry. I’ve been at work all week. I’m done.

Rapid steps ring on the pavement behind me as I trudge up the hill. Bags are taken from my hand. I feel lighter, literally and figuratively. Hallelujah! She’s seen more than her own needs, just for a change. It’s been a long time coming.

“Hey Sarah, lovely to see you. let me help you with those bags.”

My heart sinks. Andy. My friend. Me – as in Trish. Not Sarah. God, are we that interchangeable?

I hate being a twin sometimes.

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Here’s this week’s entry into Stream of Consciousness Saturday! Please head on over to Linda’s blog to read all the delicious creativity that can be found there. This week, it’s all about contractions – Linda has invited us to start our entry with a contraction, and see where it takes us. I never expected to write about twins. I’m not one, although I have do have brothers and sisters. We are all spread out in both age and geography. Sussex for me, Worcestershire for one sister, Berkshire for another and my brother is currently working on the high seas as a musician on a cruise ship.

Thank you once again to Linda for creating this vibrant community!