Last Gravy

Ruedibopbop had always regarded most other gravies as being like the surface of a hot, yet frozen, shallow lake; where you could go skating even in summer; all the while smothering the fine, comforting delicacies, lying just underneath. Mom’s gravy, on the other hand, could be as deep as an ocean canyon, and as complex as a family history. There was storytelling within it, subtleties of aromas and almost imperceptible specks of color, stimulating some deep-buried part of the brain, evoking everything in the whole world and, at the same time, one single place and instance of time: home; now.

Mom was making gravy. The soothing smell had seeped into every corner of the house, into the grain of the wood, binding with every molecule of air. She knew this would be his last time in the house; she had had a feeling about it.


Progress was slow leaving town; an on-rolling cortège floated along the exit road, playing a dirge; a fine celebration of the emotion called sadness. Crammed into an old, long three-wheeler; like the great polymath Jankonster Bullarton used to invent on a daily basis, in his attempts to save the automobile industry; their faces squashed-up against the tobacco-glass, reflections of the diseased trees, rolling along and wrapping down around the edges; flitting away. The pace was slow, moving at a blip above standing still. The horns were  gurgling and moaning, a tin cymbal ‘shishing’ and ‘ffffishing’ and ‘wissshing’; the band hanging-on, tiptoes on the running boards, playing one-handed; unpredictable changes of chord and key, sending your heart tumbling into the ground.

Ho! Ho! – Rarna thought – Oh! Yes! So nice.