I follow the Indian method of washing dishes – under running water. It is considered cleaner. It also helps wash away the tears which I do not shed. Never mind that.
It is breakfast time. As predicted – since it happens every day, João says yes enthusiastically when I ask whether, perhaps, she would like a yoghurt.
While she is eating her yoghurt, I cut some fresh pineapple slices for her and serve them on a dish. Since emigrating, our collection of crockery is more strikingly eclectic than it ever was, the result of generosity from diverse people and places. As I place the plate before her, I tell her that that although I like the shape of these plates, I have given up being bothered that they are ochre, my least favourite colour. She finds this curious, but not for long. She is soon immersed in the activity of eating the pineapple, and does not mind that pineapple yellow and ochre do not go.
“Have you got everything a girl could wish for?” I ask, in semi-theatrical tones. Yes is the boring reply. That question! That phrase! If you only knew what feminist discussions – society and the economy – we had on that theme. And then there’s the other thing.
I continue with washing the dishes as I think about the other thing. The flirting afterwards. Often at breakfast on a Sunday, it was. The tradition of the in-joke, the overture for more of the same. The reply of ‘not quite’, or ‘not by a long shot’, or ‘you must be kidding, come here!’ On a lazy day replete with so many sweet kisses…
“Because I’m easy. Easy like a Sunday morning.”
I sing this line from long ago, which João used to sing to me. João interrupts her pineapple eating with, “No.” It is her way these days of telling me to shut up. This time I do, mainly because any further lyrics escape me.
I wish I did not remember. I wish João would. But I do and she does not. She is happy, because she had pineapple today. I am… I am what? I am having a wry smile to myself remembering how I spent so much time wondering how to make love stay.
I have my coffee now. Time to work again.
©2015 Allison Wright