Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Babcia's Beets (buraki)

He had just finished taking a shit. He was watching it swirl down further into the eternal abyss. What a relief he though as he walked out of the bathroom. Then his life was once again burdened, he was aware of the beets he had just eaten, they were grated the way his grandmother used to make them back in Poland. She grew her own. He could remember eating that traditional Sunday dinner, fried breaded pork chop, mashed potato's and those painfully delicious blood red beets for the first time.
The First Sunday after their arrival into his mothers and fathers ancestral homeland, his Grandmother prepared the customary meal and the boy loved it. It was the first time he had ever eaten beats, and they were amazing. His Grandmother laughed, and fed him heaping second helpings by the spoon full saying "eat, eat, I made it just for you." He indulged himself and her in his grandmothers old world cooking. "What a life?" he said to himself as he walked outside that day. His cousin was sitting outside waiting for him. "What was that?" he asked, in Polish, bewildered with the boys English, the Canadian repeated himself in his first language "co za ┼╝ycie" his cousin nodded acceptably and stood up. "Common" he said in Polish. The Two scampered off into the tiny village. "Adam?" asked the thin curly haired cousin. "Gotta smoke?" Looking over  his shoulder Adam pulled out a packet of American cigarettes. "Ooo Marlboro, wow." his cousin seemed obviously excited, he had just started smoking since his North American brother had crash landed into his life. "I've never had one of those" he said excitedly. Adam took a sharp left and made his way for the old grave yard. "Common David!" yelled Adam. The two fumble their way through the cast iron gate, then ran up the long stairs. then at the top they found themselves needing to scurry through the maze of over nine and a half centuries of history in death and ruin. Adam stopped to see his grandfather. He lay there withing the families burial spot. He remembered his Grandfather. He had come to visit him a long time ago, before the family fell apart. Adam remembered his Grandfather. He remembered, sitting out side the door to his Grandparents room, he was three. He could remember calling, "Babcia, dziadzio, bo widno" in the wee hours of the morning, he would sit there calling until one of them awoke, and it worked. It was always his Grandfather that came to his rescue. A tall mild mannered man, with dark hair and thick glasses. He would open the door and the two would start the day together. Adam sat there thinking about all this, then he took out the cigarettes. He lit one sitting on the grave. David looked back, he found he was moving forward in solitude and it turned him to look and find his cousin sitting on their plot. Adam was already smoking. "Can I have one?" David asked nervously. They still weren't accustomed to each other at this point. Adam handed his younger cousin the whole packet of cigarettes. David smiled, took one and threw the pack back, limp smoke hanging from his lip. He was trying to look macho, but he was only thirteen and this was going to be his forth cigarette. Adam laughed, brought his legs up and held onto his knees pulling them toward his chine. Still smoking, he asked "Did you know my grandpa?", David smiled, looking at Adam, all hunched and bundled letting the smoke from his cigarette smother his face. "Yeah, yeah I did." David answered honestly, "not very well though, but I know everyone in the family." he paused then thought about something. They both smoked their cigarettes, Adam was a capable smoker relaxing his fingers as he took his drags. "I knew him too" saying as he exhaled the smoke. Davids brow raised in interest, "What do you mean, your grandpa visited you in Canada?" he asked. Adam nodded his head smoking. "How old were you?" David was eager to find out the facts. He leaned forward in anticipation eager for an answer. "Well" answered Adam seeing the sparkles of interest form his cousins eyes. He laughed, "must be the smokes" he said out loud but in English." What?" Asked David finishing off the last puffs, not once actually inhaling. "Nothing important." Adam said in Polish again so his cousin could understand. "I was four when my grandfather came to visit me and the family. We had just built the house and he came with Grandma." Adam took out another smoke, offered the box to David. David rejected it, looking a little green at the thought. Adam lit up. "I remember my Granddad cutting wood blocks for me everyday, I remember it so vividly." It was one of those memories in his mind he had never had until that moment, connected there to more of his history then ever before. "I remember playing with them every morning." he sat there sullen, smokey. David reached out for a drag of the cigarette, Adam was hardly touching it. " I remember that moment, then when the whole family was together, in my early memories, it was amazing, I remember sitting there playing with those blocks." he could see himself,\ a child of a broken home, before there was even a crack. "My Grandpa built me those blocks everyday you know, and I loved to play with them." He paused then said "But at the end of the every  after noon, that winter, I remember, the light would be just fading out of sight of the north window and he would take my blocks from me." Adam smiled, looked over at David, who was quickly beginning to look worse, with every masqueraded puff, he seemed to be growing dimmer. "Then he would take the blocks and burn them in the fire place." Adam said, watching his cousin begin to regurgitate his traditional Sunday supper. "You shouldn't smoke so much" Adam laugh accusingly watching his cousin sick up in the bushes next to a smaller plot of stone. Then out of nowhere it hit him, he thought he was just going to be passing gas, but sitting there on his Grandfathers Grave he shit himself, but just a tinny bit. He looked up at his cousin, then though of the run back to his new home. " I won't make it" he said, beginning to feel the agony of the blood red  pressure that is

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