I waited until the kids had gone to school. Then I got the bag of rice out of the cupboard, poured some into the mortar and started pounding it with the pestle. Rice was flying everywhere, spraying across the table and floor and onto my feet. But I lent in, hunched over, head down and my left hand gripped the table edge hard, and I pounded the grains harder and faster. Almost psychotically. It could, to the eyes of an onlooker have been an almost comical sight. Darkly so.
But I wasn’t smiling. I was crying. The movement of the pestle, the grinding of the rice against the granite made a rhythm, and as I kept its beat I pictured your betrayal, and I went back and forth over the last 10 weeks in time with the back and forth of the pestle, and in the time it took to make that rice become a fine, white powder, I had cried very hard. I felt sadness. Real, massive sadness. But also some rage, and self pity, and a little bit of hope.
My arms ache as I write this, but it feels somehow re assuring. I think I may get through the whole bag before the week is out.