Half

5 Nov

She says.
“In 1978 my food budget for the week was $6.75. I’ll tell you how. For breakfast I would have half a piece of toast with a little of that fake margarine or whatever it was. No butter. And a cup of tea. No sugar. The other half of the toast I’d take for lunch. To eat with a hard boiled egg. Often times I’d slice that in half…the egg I mean…and bring it back home to have for dinner. With a bit of onion fried in a pan and a slice of American cheese on the side. But most times I’d rip the cheese in half, you know…with my fingers like…and save the other piece for next day’s lunch…maybe to put on the half piece of toast I’d bring to work. I can’t tell your father all this now, because he just gets pissed off and dismisses it as lies or some call for charity or… But you know, when you brought me the cat…I actually had to cut down my groceries so I could afford cat food. And you know, don’t say anything, but there were a few times when I’d dig into his can and eat the bits in gravy with a fork like…it tasted fine, you know. It tasted a lot like paté. Remember paté? You liked it. Don’t say anything though. But that’s how it was in ’78. And now…a bit different, but not much really. It all comes around, you know. Here I am, sixty-seven years old and still planning out a big dinner night with chicken livers and onions. I spend little over thirty dollars a week now, and that’s because I gotta have my red wine. If it wasn’t for the jug, I’d save about forty bucks a month. But I gotta have my wine. Anyway, all I’m saying is it all comes back around. I’m back to the beginning. Your father sends me home with rotten tomatoes and mushy bananas. I’ve told him not to give me anything anymore, if they’re bad. I gotta haul them up flights of stairs to my apartment only to what? Throw them in the trash ’cause they’ve spoiled already? Then take down the trash to the compactor? It’s useless, you know? I’ve told him not to give me anything anymore if it’s rotten. I would rather not take any of it…oh I have a half day of work tomorrow, if you want to come by. I bought a small watermelon to die for. If you want to come by, you know, we could eat it. I have wine, too.”

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One Response to “Half”

  1. Anonymous 05/11/2007 at 1:44 PM #

    I love your dialogue. I love your people and your characters. They are so rich and so human and everything they say is true.

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