Janeishly has found her way back to writing again after a seemingly long absence. She has an advent calendar that ushered in a ritual of drinking a different flavour herb tea every evening and she has instituted writing prompts for those who care to join her. Chance would be a fine thing! We cannot get to the end of our lives and say that we “never had time”. I have some time now.
So, if I want to read Jane’s output, I shall have to write a few posts first. That might be sufficient motivation for me to get started. Here is my first 15-minute effort on the prompt “Cherry”. I am just as curious as you are as to what will come tumbling out of my workaholic mind.
I am typing straight on to the page. Those various handwritten scribblings I manage from time to time have not made it to the digital world in months, and probably never will, given my aversion to feeling like a copy typist.
The major achievement of the day had been deciding to hire a parking space in the basement of the hotel for three days, and get around Lisbon by taxi. It sure beat driving around for three hours in traffic getting lost, and unable to find my way back to the hotel. Besides, I had received the first parking ticket of my life the day before. Things were not going well logistically. Lisbon is a hilly place. Those romantic cobblestones are only romantic if it is not raining and you do not have to deal with a 40-degree incline and slippery shoes. Seriously, youthful vigour should be spent on other things.
I needed a walk, to explore the surrounds uphill from the hotel, in part to get my bearings, and see which particular turn-off I had missed in this hotch-potch jigsaw of buildings, streets, pavements and monuments. And people. Everywhere.
It turns out that my forty-something turbo-charged body was not as fit as I thought. Either that or the city air was too polluted to help my breathing. Subsequent visits over the years to this same place have proven that I was merely unfit.
I trudged upwards, upwards. By bending over to counter the steepness of the hill I was able to examine the cobblestones at close quarters. In truth, I was looking for a grocery shop to buy something fresh to eat. After two weeks’ holiday, I was tired of restaurant food, and takeaways while travelling from town to town. Something fresh, like an apple or pear, was the reason for my exertion in the hot city sun.
And then, after endless walking, and seemingly out of nowhere, I smelled the soft-earth essence of potatoes about to turn. I looked up from my cobblestone study to find myself at the doorway of a long, narrow grocery and bits and bobs store. Outside the door, there was a display of wilting vegetables and fruit that had seen better days. In the midst of this shabby attempt to appeal to passers-by, was a tray of radiant, deep red cherries.
I only know that because the box said: “cerejas – cheery”, yes like that. As a scatterling from Africa, I had never seen a fresh cherry, only the ones in bottles, and glacé ones on the top of cakes and trifles. In broken Portuguese, I asked the old man if I might try one. He said yes. Well, it was not yet ripe and quite tart.
I purchased two overripe bananas and several bars of freshly-picked chocolate, and made my way down the hill back to the hotel with my stash, repeating “cereja” to myself.
©2021 Allison Wright
23 minutes. I am out of practice. Also, I could not manage anything in the third person. I need to get fit – writing fit – again.
And yes, it has taken almost a month from first writing this to publishing it.