Monday, April 16, 2007

Farfalle - Work In Progress

Dug this up this afternoon. I think I'll work on it some more.

Farfalle was named for her mother’s cravings during pregnancy. Her mother always said that rotini made her think of weird bugs and spaghetti just didn’t feel right going down during pregnancy. She craved pasta, though, and farfalle was what she often chose. What better way to name the child conceived at the end of a semester abroad in Italy? Her mother didn’t even know until she got home, and she knew she’d never see Paulo again, or even be able to find him.

Named for a pasta, with a mystery father, Farfalle nonetheless is the apple of her mother’s eye. A becoming combination of her mother’s very Irish features and her father’s classic Italian look, the girl’s curly brown hair, freckles, and startling blue eyes draw constant comments.

Farfalle is three years old, and she loves pasta, too. She loves to chirp her order at her and her mother’s favorite hole-in-the-wall Italian restaurant, and it’s always for her pasta namesake. Her mother has done a wonderful thing in weaving a tale for Farfalle about her conception. Many women in her situation would be bitter, and with good reason. Farfalle’s mother had too much fun being pregnant, and then bringing little infant Farfalle to her last semester of classes to be bitter. Understanding professors and a baby in a sling combined just as magically as Farfalle’s conception, and life is good for the happy pair.

Tonight is something new. Farfalle’s mother hasn’t dated since she came back from Italy. She wouldn’t, couldn’t bring herself to leave Farfalle for an evening, and most men aren’t inclined to have a first date with a three year old, however charming, hanging about. Tonight is different. Farfalle waits with her mother at the Italian restaurant for the Greek suitor. They draw pictures as they wait, Farfalle’s mother showing a deft hand with the crayons.

Farfalle sees him first. She tugs on her mother’s sleeve as he approaches. Tall and dark, Farfalle sizes Nikolas up closely. She likes him, at least she likes how he looks and how he smiles, but he has to like pasta, too. She and her mother can’t settle for just anybody. She thinks they do great on their own – her mother is a librarian and Farfalle goes to Jenni’s daycare every day, and Miss Jenni is like a second mother to her. This arrangement works for everybody, and Farfalle is a little nervous about it changing.

Nikolas has flowers, big pretty gerbera daisies. Two daisies, one bright, bright pink, which he hands to Farfalle with a grin, and one orange, which he hands to her mother. He sits down, and they order. Farfalle first, for her namesake with alfredo sauce and broccoli, and her mother and Nikolas next. Nikolas is nice. He talks to Farfalle and her mother, and it’s one big conversation. Farfalle feels very grown up tonight as she eats her broccoli and answers questions politely. When they get up to leave, her mother gives her a thumbs up and a big grin. Farfalle returns it, since she likes Nikolas. They go their separate ways, Farfalle and her mother in their little car, and Nikolas in his littler car.

Farfalle and her mother stop at her Grandma’s house to say hello. Grandma is anxious to hear about the date with Nikolas. Farfalle tells Grandma that next time she will stay with her while her mother goes out by herself, because that is what grownups do. Grandma smiles convincingly at Farfalle’s mother, who reluctantly agrees.

1 comment:

Jason said...

Oooh! I like this. I like these characters. I'm already rooting for Farfalle. Have you seen Kurt Vonnegut's 8rules for writing fiction? I'd love to see you build this story out more.