This blog has served as a kind of sketchpad for the past four months, a place to lay the foundation for a future art project. Each of the previous characters I’ve claimed to be on this blog are at the center of an online art project which will be like Never Been but with different directions. 

   Here’s a story about dinner in a small village. A piece that’s been inspired by one of the drawings in Never Been, a story about a fictional village somewhere in Eastern Europe. 

   Enjoy and thank-you for dropping by.

 


The Drunk Giant Distraction

 

    Mother made all sorts of announcements to get my four younger brothers to come to the table but they remained fixed at the front window, waiting to see if the giant would fart or belch or make some other larger than life obscenity. The window by now was littered in tiny, dirty fingerprints made in the condensation from their breath. They held their heads at odd angles, peeping through these temporary openings and then they’d touch their little view back into existence. For my part, I sat at my place at the table and cursed the giant.

    “Piotr, please, let’s not have that kind of language at the dinner table,” Mother said, placing a large bowl of steaming potatoes in front of Father who lowered his head over the cloudy heat and inhaled. He believed it was good for his weak lungs and had promised me on numerous occasions that someday, when I became the head of a family, I would get this great privilege. It was the kitchen’s cure for anything that ailed you. My ambitions, however, were larger than this kitchen. Or even our village.

    “Boys, come away from that window. The Giant will be there after you finish dinner,” Mother shouted. “What a waste,” she muttered to herself and as she had just scanned her kitchen, the food, my father, brothers and the outline of the Giant outside, it was hard to tell what she was referring to.

     I cursed in a combination I’d never considered before.

    “Piotr,” Mother shouted, “no more profanity at the dinner table.”

    “But the breakfast table is fine?”

    “Boys come to the table.”

     “Ahhhhhhh,” my father moaned as he inhaled deeply over his potato cure.

    “I will stop spewing profanity in this house if I can hear you utter the worst words that you know,” I said to Mother who looked at me in disbelief. There, an exercise of my ambitions, I thought to myself. I didn’t expect dinner to get interesting for my interest in the Giant had waned weeks ago.

     “He’s vomiting,” one of my younger brother’s shouted from the living room.

     My mother cursed quietly under her breath.

      “No, it must be loud enough for Father to hear.”

     She looked at me over top the haggard bags beneath her eyes, as if she were peering at me from behind a tired rubble of memories.

     “Where is the spoon for these potatoes,” my father shouted.

      “Again he vomited again.”

     Mother tore the house asunder with vile words that shocked my brothers into action. They all rushed to their places at the table and bowed their heads in preparation for prayer –perhaps speaking to God even then for Mother’s endangered soul. My father stood up to get the spoon for himself. Even the Giant was startled, rolling from his position on our garden patch and into the middle of the street. 

     I placed a forkful of potatoes into my smiling wide-open mouth. 

     I thought of my future.

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