Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Is endarkenment a thing though?

Big teeth ate all of the big bread and came back for more. It's gone now and tonight is the annual Shrove Tuesday pancake dinner from hell in which I try to feed twenty people pancakes and sausages and by the time I'm dishing up the last few plates the first few are finished, cutting in line for seconds. It's sort of like being a pancake machine and I've threatened more than once to send them all to McDonalds for hotcakes because in case I haven't made it crystal clear, they serve breakfast all day now.

And that's really wonderful.

I organized this Friday too. Made sure I planned ahead, not stepping on any hearts or fingers or toes in the process and it's mildly begrudging anyway and I'm watching that. Caleb's birthday. During Lent. Everything old is new again and then it will be Easter, as soon as we navigate these next forty days of rain. Build me the ark and I'll sail it all the way home, floating on a tidal wave of my fears and daydreams, held back from reaching shore not by a lighthouse but by a net floating free, made of the strong arms of all of these men, who took the bread last night and broke it with their hands, dipping it into the gravy of the stew, talking with their mouths full, rolling their eyes at the comfort of such a meal, content to be together around the big table where there is hardly enough room and yet tonight will be even more crowded still.

What are you giving up for Lent, Bridget? Sam asks. He asks every year as if it's his personal duty to see that you make a worthy sacrifice for Jesus and stick to it. No heathenism on his watch.

Not this, I think to myself but out loud I say Sugar. I've never been able to do it. I love sweet things. Cake. Cookies. Chocolate. This time I have the pantry stocked with protein snacks and the fridge is stuffed full of fruits and vegetables. It's the least I can do, I think. Surely I can navigate forty stupid days. Besides, I'll probably save my own life in the process and be so much healthier-

But then I realize he thinks I mean the other kind of sugar and his face falls before he catches it and rallies round.

That so?

Actual sugar, Sam.

The relief is there behind the mask. That's a good sacrifice, Bridget. I'm proud of you.