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Title: For the Love of Meat
Author: Jenny Jaekel
Publisher: Raincloud Press
Genre: Short Stories/Light Romance/Historical
Purchase Information:Book Excerpt:
From the short story Stumble and Fall:
She’d been in the city six months. Her sojourn in the Colonies.
“Why do you want to go there?” her friend Elsie demanded when they met at the coffee shop round the corner from her North London flat. “It’s going to be decidedly provincial.” Elsie never liked it when Dara went away.
Dara had been abroad several times. The first, not counting two family holidays in France, was a student exchange in Rio at age sixteen, which had shocked her every sensibility and every relative at home. Members of the family went off to Israel and often stayed forever, but that was a religious imperative. Rio was not the Holy Land; it was a riot. By the time her classmates finally succeeded in teaching her a cumbia, one night at a party, something staid in her had been made loose. When she returned home at the end of that year she had a bag stuffed with bootlegged cassette tapes and a secret restlessness in her heart.
Lisbon had been her last adventure. She taught English for a year at a grammar school there and that was now five years ago. Coming back to London that time felt grey. Things hadn’t taken off in Portugal the way she’d thought they might. She’d kept up her Portuguese via a group on Tuesday nights, which was how she met Jeremy.
He had a samba collection, she had a samba collection. They fell into a kind of love, moved in together and developed a premarital routine that in three years’ time had begun to grow stale. Dara loved him, or she loved them, and she grieved when the thing began to die. The relationship survived their artificial resuscitations, nominally, for a time, until it was like a body neither of them could any longer pretend was alive.
She lay on the burial mound for a week, every surface rubbed raw. A month passed, two. Her grief shrank to a stone she carried in her chest. It had a way of rolling and rattling like a bottle on the floor of a car. It could disappear and then come clunking out of nowhere. She missed the comfort of Jeremy’s familiar smile and sandy hair and the way he wrapped her up in his arms at night. Then again, she didn’t miss his stupid laugh, or his long silences, or his constant consumption of cinnamon buns. Sometimes she thought if she ever had to open the cupboard and see cinnamon buns one more time she’d leap straight out the window.
Then one morning, alone in her bed, she awoke to a fresh rain slashing at the window, a rogue beam of sunlight spotting the corner of the curtain, and she knew it was time to go.
About the Author
Jenny Jaeckel grew up in Berkeley and Ukiah of Northern California, has lived in Mexico, Spain and currently lives in British Columbia with her husband and daughter.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from The Evergreen State College, a Master of Arts in Hispanic Literatures from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She is a certified interpreter and translator, and has taught Spanish at three universities. She is the author and illustrator of three graphic memoirs. For the Love of Meat is her first book of fiction.