Aug 01

Short Story - What Blue Can Hold

The music surfaces from the stairs behind me. Tenor strings accompanied by the looming brassiness of the french horn. It tugs at my ears and scans the glossed etchings of the table. My eyes settle on the weathered blue of the file holder. Something so detached from my surroundings; I am drawn in. Stuffed to the brim with couscous, and recipes so well known you have to scoff at the monotony of reading it over again. With stains, cluttered with lines a seven-year-old hand struck upon the paper. Always an endeavor to sift through the piles of ripped-from-magazine-we-have-to-try-this, and more often than not, I find myself stuck feeling the color on the paper. Breathing in the familiar lilt of the letters, written with a shaky hand so dear to me. Or settling in on the strike of the foreign ink against a yellowing scrap. Squinting to see people I’ve never seen, recipes I haven’t heard of. People I’ve forgotten. Often I study the formality and tedium of the faint blue lines that taint the paper. Broken by the boldness of ball-point ingredients and ink-well signatures. The curves of weathered paper meet the pressed-straight sheets. They sit quietly by each other, never knowing the texture of new, of old. They are stationed dutifully in the sleeves of the file holder. And hands pick them out. These are not my hands, the ones who potently dipped to the paper: my mother’s recipe, my childhood favorite, but; my eyes draw them close. And my ears eagerly await the story behind the creamy amaretto chicken or the ever-nosy cat that got to the tarts first.

My eyes shift back to studying the dips of color on the table, and, I hope to grace another’s recipe book. So their eyes can pick again and again the handwriting curling butter and spices, preaching to chill for a few hours, so the cake doesn’t sink as it had for me. So a story can be spilled across their table. Unfaded in their mind and, maybe not so unfamiliar.