I woke up this morning to a soft urgent rap on my bedroom door. The shock of waking up so suddenly, made me fumble for my dressing gown while running through a variety of possible emergency events to meet with once I open the door, and a similar list of solutions. I opened the door, pale faced to be met with a nervous lanky Korean boy, who nervous and jittery, informed me that he was hungry.
I must admit, I immediately thought of a couple of replies to his unwelcome request. Reluctantly, remembering that he wasn’t my own child, I scavenged through the kitchen for things for him to eat in order to avoid cooking the scheduled breakfast 2 hours early while everyone else is still chopping steady zees. He chomped down four bananas and threw the peels on the floor next to the bin. I made him pick them up. A lizard crawled down my back when I remembered the chunk of butter he ate the last time I was distracted stirring a pot of oatmeal. So, feeling suddenly sorry, I whisked up some flapjacks in-between the clutter, dirty dishes and rags I inherited as reward for me weekend off.
Following previous attempts at sneaking in healthy ingredients into food, I dropped about 5 dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds into the batter before giving it the final whisk, which ended in a dramatic flailing of arms and a ferocious spitting out of all healthy matter by the soundtrack of as much hurling noises as possible, to indicate with how much intensity the diner disliked “raisins”.
I know the real reason he woke me was because the others scared him with spooky stories the night before and he was afraid of being awake alone in the big dark house. I made him wash afore mentioned inheritance as payback along with the one who scared him to begin with.
By lunchtime, I was surprised at how quickly he obeyed my orders to read his English book where I could see him. Willy Wonka certainly went down much easier than the cranberries.
By lunch he begged me for the bowl of potato salad I made to accompany their rather scantily nutritious noodles. I had to put it on a cold plate of the stove to escape from his sneaky pinching fingers. By lunch he forgot about it, and slurped up noodles while watching a comedy show. I ate the potatoes by myself.
The day is not yet over, even though the sun is already hanging quite listlessly low. I feel even writing this is premature. What will happen over dinner? How ruthlessly will they slaughter my beloved bolognaise recipe?
In the background I have Regina Spektor’s Sailor Song in my head, to which I bravely make park myself in front of another hapless dinner while my mind wanders to places far far far away.