from The Sand Eggs
The old woman clucks her tongue and claws at my white cotton sleeve for the peach that I am trying to peel for her. Erin laughs at me.
‘What is wrong?’ I ask. He laughs again, his high pitched, girlish laugh, jiggling his belly under his t-shirt.
‘She says you are cutting the peel too thick, and that you are a very wasteful woman.’ He laughs again, twitching his blue plastic fly swatter at the stray flies that come in through the open window. I look at the old woman and see the faintest twinkle in her hooded black eyes. Placing the plate with the peach onto her lap, I wipe my hands then take her brown claw-like hand, oiled and stained with henna. I raise it to my lips and then to my forehead. Her fingers are long and bent towards the palm, the nails thick and coloured to stained marble. She shakes her head at me and with her free hand, gives me back the plate.
‘What is the problem now?’ I ask Erin.
‘You haven't taken out the stone.’ I hand the plate to Erin.
‘Bah! I'm not a woman,’ he says, thrusting the plate back at me.
‘Please,' I plead, folding my arms tight.