9. Egg Sandwiches
© Bruce Goodman 19 October 2013
The truth was, she didn’t get on all that well with her son, although she loved him dearly. At least, she didn’t get on well since he’d reached puberty. They couldn’t seem to talk. And now he was eighteen. So it was particularly special when he asked her to come to a social afternoon at one of his mate’s houses to celebrate a marriage engagement. “Just my mates and their Mums”, he said. “And bring something to eat.” It was their way of getting food.
She rather liked his friends, but he never brought them home. All the other parents seemed to have their share of the young set calling around at their homes. Not that they necessarily socialized with them — but at least they were there and, somehow, relevant. She had felt... well, left out. She thought perhaps they scorned her behind her back.
But now he had invited her. “Bring something to eat”, he’d said. “Bring something to eat.” In some silly way (at last! at last!) she felt as if she was wanted.
That morning she boiled some eggs, forked them to a paste and made some sandwiches. She arranged them on a plate with a piece of parsley.
She was a little bit scared. Since her husband had left quite a few years back, and she was left to manage alone, she never quite knew how she was doing. This little party was her way of saying — perhaps without anyone noticing — “This is my son. I think I’ve done a reasonable job”.
The little social started, and she felt so proud of her son. He walked in with her and said to everyone as they entered, “This is my Mum”, and he seemed to mix so nicely and casually with everyone. She had a lovely conversation too with one of his mates — about fishing, and where the best trout places were in the river. Later she heard someone say, “Shit, who made the fucking egg sandwiches?” And, when at the end of the afternoon she went to get her plate to go home, she noticed that no one had eaten anything she’d made.