Sunday, September 18, 2005

Belly-dancing to Metallica

Here is a wild new chapter in the burgeoning chronicles of the Pertwee family. Since I haven't gotten any new words from my readers in the last while (hem, hem), I have had to resort to crafty devices. I went to each of your blogs, and plucked the first word from the title of your latest post. If you didn't have a title, I chose the first interesting noun. The words I found:

New
Creature
Nobody
Rock
Stand
Signs
Bellydancing
Trip
Joke
Mini
Metallica
Another
September
Think
Hetero
Alignment

It was an old joke that Tamar liked belly-dancing to Metallica. Whenever she rode in Zev’s multi-striped Mini, Tamar would stand on the seat, poke her head up through the sun-roof, and undulate to the songs of Zev’s rock and roll cassette tapes. Zev could not convince her that car-dancing was dangerous. "It’s not as if you can actually speed in this contraption,” Tamar pointed out. “I’m as safe as houses."

Zev and Tamar lived in the City, but every so often, they had to take the obligatory trip to the countryside to visit their mother and step-family. They dreaded it. Sometimes Tamar tried to wiggle out of the outing. “I think the stars are too far out of alignment to make the trek,” she joked. “Maybe we shouldn’t go this weekend.”

“We’ve put off the trip three times since September,” Zev pointed out.

“You’re right,” Tamar said. “Let’s get it over with.”

Tamar packed a lunch that she hoped would last them through a good part of the first day. Ever since her mother had married Mr. Pertwee, she no longer made the succulent curries for which she was so famous in the City. Tamar’s mouth watered at the memory of the last vegetable korma her mother had made the night before the Pertwee’s simple wedding ceremony at the courthouse. There were no bells, whistles or anything to distinguish the ceremony from any other hetero-union Tamar had attended since her university days. Still, the party afterward was what she remembered best: the steaming spinach and garlic naan appetizers, the tender cubes of lamb simmered with tamarind sauce, the slices of mango laid out upon china plates like shimmering orange fishes. The vanilla cake was light, not very sweet, but brushed with cardamom icing in swirls that melted upon the tongue.

That was the last good meal Tamar had ever had at her mother’s house. What had happened then seemed to turn her mother into some sort of new creature that only served pre-made food from boxes. It was not that Tamar expected her mother to continue cooking the way she had before, but Tamar missed the warmth of their old dwelling. Their step-siblings, Tristan and Virginia, were of the good-enough sort, but already the signs of country living were showing strain upon the kids.

“We should take Tristan and Virginia back with us,” Tamar said suddenly.

“What?” Zev asked. “Are you crazy?”

“Yes,” Tamar said. “But that is beside the point. We are in the position to do a good deed. After the weekend, we will take the Pertwee kids back with us to the City for a few days. Perhaps they will remember what it is like to be alive, once they stop moping around that wretched dollhouse of a dwelling.”

“That ‘wretched dollhouse’ is quite stunning,” Zev said. “Have you noticed the detail of the architecture?”

“There are no stairs,” Tamar said with a contemptuous wave of her hand. “What is a house without stairs?”

Tamar plunked the picnic hamper into the back seat of the Mini, opened the sunroof, and stood up. “Drive on, Zev!” she said, as the beginning notes of "For Whom the Bell Tolls" began to throb. “This time, we’re on a mission.”

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think you must have been influenced by those WWII era English writers - your descriptions of food are so enlivening.

LB said...

Alkelda, I hope this is not where the story ends. I feel like I just ate the meal you decribed. Head banging is required whenever "For Whom the Bell Tolls" is played. I believe it is a law.

Lone Star Ma said...

I need a list of Pertwee links so I can start at the beginning and catch up.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Ask, and you shall receive. Take a look at the sidebar!

galetea said...

Bravo!

Brad the Gorilla said...

I think you're far too obsessed with food and this whole quasi-Brit influence. For the next Pertwee story, I'd like to read about swashbuckling space pirates and cities under the sea. You could put a gorilla in the story, too, while you're at it (but no monkeys.)

abcgirl said...

i love the pertwee's! can i get my car painted like that? it's a camry, so it may not look quite as snazzy...

Andrew said...

I wonder if Metallica ever looks back and remembers that they used to rage with a power beyond mighty.