Thursday, 3 February 2011

Mange Princess

Come Princess....lunch. She put the phone down. She better not be late. She was scolded yesterday. Her chef had called. She pressed the lift...number two and descended for her meal. The door was left ajar. I'm here. The smell of cigarettes and tomato sauce filled the turquoise hall. The entire flat was painted turquoise from top to bottom. It was a bit like being in a swimming pool. She looked up at the dusty light fixture with a giant crack in it. No need to clean it as it wasn't in use. She had refrained from cleaning as it gave him ideas as to what else he'd like her to do. Gennio. His calendar was still on January. Pictures of the pope surrounded by postcards of anonymous ass from phone booths. His meager decorations.

She sat down to the plastic pasta tablecloth she bought him last year. It was wearing well. "Sunny day, but still cold." He obvious remark about the weather got an agreeing nod. The water began to boil. "What you want? Coke, wine, actimel, water, juice?" She got up to get some water, but he brought it for her. He inspected a fork and placed it on a napkin. She got up and washed it. He tutted. She tutted back. Fish was out. This for Lorenzo and Benjamin later. You have ravioli today. Steam wafted from the sink as he poured it one handed through a sieve. It smelled of nutmeg, ricotta, and spinach.

He heated the sauce...a large constant pot of red tomato and garlic with the bones of various animals poking through the surface. She secretly thought the tomato was over powering. A plainer sauce would go well with the delicate hand made ravioli. She knew better than to give him advice on his cooking. He was a creature of routine. Fish, filet steak, ravioli, cannelloni, pasta fagioli, breaded chicken breasts...

 "Mange Princess" He placed the plate before her and sprinkled the parmesan from a plastic bag. She ate it remembering how the first time she tried his ravioli, she was in heaven. Routine now...mandatory attendance. She felt grateful and bored at the same time. One or two meals a day and three cigarettes as dessert or takeaway. She got up to wash the plate. "Leave, leave. I do."

A few days without his cooking always set her right--back in grateful mode. It had been a while since she had skipped his dinners. Usually, infact always, it was a punishment for seeing her with another man. Not that they were lovers, but he liked to maintain the fantasy. She was his princess and seeing her with someone did tend to spoil that. "I no cook for you no more. I no care your life...what you do. You clever girl. You clever." So she'd stock up her fridge and wait it out. It would pass. It always did. 

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