matilde sola

matilde looked around as the dust settled, moscas and ants, skittering up the gravelled road, beyond the wooden sign and the well and the oak tree, following that car as it sputtered out of sight.

Her oldest son, proud and strong and handsome. Too handsome, she thought worriedly, thinking of his espejo, the way he peered into it for too long, reflection of his father's tall grace. walter walking on the farm with the younger boys; matilde alone in the white house, shading her eyes, crying again, for her sister, for her sons, for the old songs and dances of home.

she cooked a pot of rice and slices of fried pork for dinner. the boys came running when she called them: i must remember, i am blessed. but this is a small world, these are narrow roads and slow cars and horses and fields. there, san francisco, money and expenses and big wide roads and women and trolleys. the dangers her son faced, he who had held his baby brother high in the air and looked at her proudly, saying "mama, mama, look how strong i am." he who knew mathematics, counted first on his fingers and then in his brain, giving his father advice about the ranch. You should hire three men, papa, and grow corn, cabbage, there is the money.

matilde thought again of her sisters, her mother, her country. their house on a hill with the ocean in the distance, the mules bringing packages of silk, satin and chiffon for new dresses. her father, the General, he would have been so proud of her californian life now. ah, well, better that he would never know how alone she was, how her husband preferred to talk business, smoking cigars and winking at his compatriots, how she served their cognac on a tray, mild, silent, alone.

"ah Adela, no me olvidas," she thought. her son carlos took her for a jaunt on the buggy through the farm and she swatted mosquitoes, dreaming.

"walter i need to talk to you," she suggested late that night as he removed his thick pantalones and boots. in her slip, combing through her long snarled curls. "i need to see my sister. i really need to, there is no question."

"well we talked about this before, matti. when the corn comes up maybe we'll have the money to fly her here."

"listen walter, i can't wait."

he paused, quieted by the catch in her voice.

Comments

Amy Beatty said…
I love it Heather.It's such a sweet little story that totally sucks you in- write more. I want to her about her sister and her sons. I know how she feels when you just need something NOW. Matt knows my tone and look very well. he can tell me what I want before I say it. LOVE
Glory Watts said…
Poor Matti is lonely, homesick, and worries about her son. She has to remind herself to be grateful for the things she is blessed with. I think I can relate sometimes;)

What an amazingly detailed and believable writer you are. I had no idea you had this talent, it's no suprise though.

The story definitely left me with a heightend sense of awareness. (do you remember that from Mr. Millers class at EDH?)
mom said…
This is beautiful Heather, I thought I was reading a published author, what a wonderful start to a novel...or just as it is. Your new blog is beautiful. I love you, Mom
bandini said…
heather, awesome. totally grand and it feels like dusk, like a sunset both dark and bright, this is great, read cormac mccarthy i know youd love him. i love this continue please i love you.
Miss Adie said…
crying, again.
I love this, especially, as I said- reading it knowing it is about our great grandmother.
And perhaps it's all a bit too relevant to me these days.
Love you.

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