Menu Choices – Josephine Galvin

Which would you prefer for tomorrow?

You are smiling vaguely and don’t appear to have heard so I translate for you.

Soup or orange juice?

Your smile broadens and meets mine. I wonder if your remembering those boarding house meals of my childhood. The plain typed menu card with the OR in capitals. Long before you took me pubs for Sunday lunch, longer before I treated you to restaurants with seafood and fancy terrines. Blackpool., remember? It was the same choice every night. Isn’t one a drink? I had asked you baffled by the restriction. Have the soup, you advised, its more filling…

Soup please, thank you.

Pasta bake, chicken Korma or ham sandwich. Wow that’s an improvement. It’s been some kind of derivation of hot pot for the last three days. Certainly, better than our landlady’s kitchens could cater for.

That was meat, a soft veg and some boiled potatoes. Tinned, I Think. I was a thin child…

He’ll have the Korma. That’s really nice, thank you.

I smile, and thank them again. We are learning to be grateful. We are too vulnerable to be otherwise.

Breakfast? why we have to go through this routine. He’s not been able to eat breakfast for the last week. At home I would have put warm milk on mushed up Weetabix. But we are not at home.

All boxes ticked she moves to the next bed and begins the same routine again.

Would you like anything now? I indicate the tea cooling in the beaker, the room temperature yoghurt salvaged from lunch. It’s a rhetorical question.

I watch your eyes closing and I’ll sit a while looking at the entirety of a past in which you have always been present. The long legs, that walked so quickly alongside the child running to keep up, are swollen today. It’s a sign apparently but I don’t know this until afterwards.

And tomorrow, at five o clock, your tea time, when family members have come and gone and cried in the special room they keep for viewing and probably just before they move your body to somewhere I can’t access anymore, I’ll think about that chicken Korma we chose for tonight and wonder what happens to it now.

 

The Cabinet Of Heed Issue 35 Contents Link

Images via Pixabay

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