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Shameless

Curry. Cumin. Saffron. Mmmm, the hallways always smell of spice, her seventy-year-old body perfecting the rhythm of movement from icebox to oven in her efficiency kitchenette. Tangerine wall paint cracks and mixes carelessly with bits of spice yet lingering in the air; it follows her, this aroma that eats the eater, dancing around her skirts like faeries honoring their faerie queen. She knows this, and smiles at the sliver of sun peeking through her window. Down the corridor people begin their ritual of recognition, then sniffing, and finally a smile that reveals anticipation. No one goes hungry inside Apartment A6 and everyone has seconds. Lunch and dinner, breakfast too if a body is moving about as dawn surfaces. Though small, her main floor seems to expand beyond the boundaries of walls, everyone cross-legged and eager to devour dishes few could pronounce and none could forget. A legend among the two hundred desperate palates; today, however, souls wander lost through the hallways because the lucky have snaked their way into heaven and left the masses to a barren, tasteless fate. As the onions, okra and potatoes, flavored with a hint of saffron and even less ginger, entice bodies five deep and ten across, our greedy fingers and mouths offer no thoughts of others going without while dripping sauce falls onto our legs and Berndi seems content with the pleasure she’s wrought.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2005




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