Rheumatica

Posted: October 8, 2013 in Uncategorized

With freckles dotting the spaces between tendons and veins, the bony white hands of Aunt Fiona washed the potatoes underneath the faucet of the kitchen sink. She hummed as she did so, an old song, older than me, and when they were clean to her liking, she took the vegetable peeler from beside the basin and began hacking away at the brown exterior. I helped father peel potatoes once, and they come out looking polyhedral, with flat faces and rigid, angular vertices. Fiona, however, was like a Renaissance sculptor in the medium of vegetables. Her potatoes came out smooth and rounded, like yellowed eggs, with only the ridges formed by the peeler’s blade itself emerging in the tuber’s surface. She did this repeatedly, a dozen times, and each looked just as good as the last. Even now when I watch my wife prepare a meal for our daughter, I see a spot where there was a struggle, or an unexpected snag, and I question how Aunt Fiona ever made such simple work out of it.

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