I wanted to put up a post for Annisa, thinking that it would be really fun to write something about the origin of birthday cakes. But then sudden changes of wind made me think of this little vignette, a short story that has been running amok in my mind for some time now.
One of the things that she found really difficult to do is ripping off the pages of the calendar. She was sentimental like that.
If only she wasn’t five years of age, it wouldn’t have been a problem. But she was, indeed, that young when she told her mother in a tone that was almost apologetic about how she couldn’t sleep because of that.
“I just can’t do it,” she cried.
The first time she told her mother, she was too busy cooking to listen. There were lots of things to be done in the house, and the mother herself hadn’t been able to make enough time to cater her own needs. There was, of course, no maid in the house.
She had decided early in marriage that she would not allow anyone else to take care of her babies. Outside influences were, for her, exactly the way they sounded to her.
Even for her cooking she doesn’t use anything that she couldn’t pronounce. Anyone entering the kitchen would have to be ready for a giant confusion of where things should go.
But that day, as she was just about to do one of the most important things of the day for her, she found the little girl down on the floor, still with the dress that she had sewn for her.
The cloth was made of fine cotton, which she handpicked for that specific dress.
Her daughter couldn’t sit cross legged. It would only tire her tremendously. She had her own comfortable way of putting her weight down.
Her feet would completely touch the tiles like the capital of the letter m.
She could sit like that for hours. And by the way she looked, without the usual smile on her face, it almost seemed like she had been sitting down on the floor for hours and hours. In front of her were torn pages from the wall calendar, which she had taken down with her.
One of the dining chairs was standing right under the part of the wall where the calendar used to be.
Crumpled pieces of paper were mounting over one side of the living room. It was only June, but the calendar had fast forwarded to December. Was it just her or was the room becoming really cold?
Crumpled pieces of paper mounting over one side of the living room where the window was. There was no wind.
“I just don’t get how he does it,” said her daughter.
“Does what dear?” asked the mother.
“Does that thing he does. Ripping off the pages of the calendar,” said the little girl, pointing at one neat piece of paper with that day’s date. There were no wrinkles on it, and the edges were strikingly clean from any sighs.
It was only June, but it sure felt like it was December. And the wind was as cold as it was before.