Umber (19.18 — Vera’s Story)
March 30, 2012 § Leave a comment
On Sundays, Ervin was good company when I could think of an excuse to get him into the kitchen. He was usually grateful to get away from the interminable boredom of the parlor. But, since I had always complained so much about cooking, he wasn’t interested in helping me prepare the food. By the time he was six and I was twelve, he already subscribed to the notion that kitchen drudgery was “women’s work,” and, seeing me flinch when he said it, he would make a game out of taunting me. He bragged that he would do the jobs that men did when he was older. This usually provoked me into flinging vegetable peelings at him, which would make us both laugh until we heard the footsteps of someone coming from the parlor to investigate. We would hastily scoop up the scattered peelings before anyone else saw them, and Ervin would temporarily forget that sweeping was beneath his dignity.
Once I threw a whole potato at him, which bounced off his head. I thought he would cry, but he didn’t, apparently deciding that my contrite and solicitous gestures were sufficient.