Saturday, October 21, 2006

La Pedrera

As she stood by the bed side, she could almost hear the smooth rustling sound of the leaves coming from the wash room window. Only then she realized that she hasn’t been breathing. Suddenly she had to make an effort to stand. She leaned on the dresser and she wandered with her eyes around the room. She looked at the crimson crochet on his nightstand. He always ridiculed her little decorative attempts. She weaved threads of color, threads of dreams. After achieving every piece, she would hold it in her palm and bring it closer to her face. She would pass it against her skin and smell it. She always thought that different colors had different smells and she ornamented her little world with aromas of colors. Pastel colors always smelled like the earth, like a freshly cut tree in her mother’s garden. Dark colors had the smell of the winter, the smell of the dancing dust coming through the dark attic spilling silver on the thick brown carpet, the smell of a black leather chair sweating in front of a chimney in her father's study and the poignant scent of cognac. Red smelled of her sin. Red smelled like voluptuous silky wine, like the rose he gave her, like their passion and indiscretion and impatience. Red was the smell of her secrets. Her secrets carefully folded in the creases of that crochet.

She stood by the bed as she heard the door open. The voice of Angelique came across the hall. Angelique was a young woman who came with her from Provence. She was young but she had a strong character that one can easily see coming through her high pitched voice and her fixed looks. She had a small frame and a very imposing presence that she asserted with her large hand gestures and her large steps. Her mother had insisted that she goes to Spain accompanied with the girl. She would say that Angelique had the life wisdom in her young age that she hadn’t acquired despite being older and that she will be of great help with the children. She never liked Angelique. The idea that she could not handle herself without her was true and was overbearing to her. Eventually she had to give her more responsibilities as her duties of nursing her husband took most of her time.
- Angelique, c’est toi?
- Oui madame. On a fait les courses et les enfants …
- Attends alors.

We all know pain. We all know pain. We cannot give tenderness if we don’t get it. My children need me. Little Francois was not nourished as my body was poisoned with sadness. I need to live in less sorrow for my children.
Is all she could think of as she stepped back out of the bedroom always staring at the crochet piece on the nightstand. She carefully closed the door and walked away. She did not understand her reaction to what might have been the fate of her husband. She did not understand the guilt she felt and the culpability she acted upon. All she knew was that she needed time to think.
- Tu vas prendre les petits au Carrer de Valencia.
- Chez ta tante ?
- Oui pour passer la journée.
- Et vous madame ?
- Je reste avec le monsieur. Il doit se reposer. Il a besoin de calme. Vas-t-en.
- Bien sur. Frédérique va chercher le courier.
- Très bien. Allez maintenant.

Back in her room the desk was still deserted. Her papers still on the armchair covered with her shawl. The package was still under the bed.
What if he’s dead? I will worry about that in a minute.
She took the papers that she was writing and tore them to small pieces. Wrapped the shawl really tight around her neck and sat in her chair. She reached for the empty cradle and started pushing it. She pushed hard.
Look at that, she thought … It is fall …
It is time …
The package was light. Somehow she knew what it will contain. As she starting unwrapping the knot, she noticed that it was wrinkled. It looked as if it was redone. She saw her letters to him. He had returned her letters. She covered them with both hands as if to make them disappear and she wept. She wept for a long time. As she wiped her tears she could smell the paper on her hands. There was another smell she recognized. It was his …


_z. said...

what is that... lech ze3lene hal2add hal kamm yom. they are magnificent posts, don't get me wrong. The Pedrera series is just amazing, but they are too sad. are you sad?

I hope you're not.

:) on smile tu?

Mirvat said...

thank you
no mish za3lene bass this is what the pedrera looked like to me, like it would be haunted with crazy stories. maybe the ending won't be sad. we'll see in a couple of posts :)

gitanes legeres said...

i like this story..

Ha Ana Za said...

lovely story mirvat- so poetical. I love the way you give colours a scent :)

Maya@NYC said...

very nice..