I was only five o six. I think I had not even yet learned to ride a bicycle. I was in my summer-dreaming countryside. Dusty roads that led nowhere but to hard falls on the knees and to the half-constructed summer home. The one that had been built up out of the family’s hard-earned savings; thanks to (or despite) my dad’s weekday office boredom and my mum’s anxiety and bookkeeping tears. (Obedient servant to a humble yet slightly tepid-blooded man, she was trying to make ends meet while season in season out, she dressed in the same old, largely practical dresses).
I must have been five or six. It was not yet late enough for my afternoon dip in the electric blue, square plastic swimming pool, under the leafy, embracing tears of my beloved weeping willow. I was still digesting my food. Kiddie-friendly fritters and maybe some meaty potato mash.
My dad decided to take me to the farm. Time for our mid-afternoon walk under the glaring sun. My skin was red with thirst. My mouth was watering with trepidation. We are heading to the farm.
The butcher opened the main gates and let us in. The dry grass around contributed to a rather grim, almost post-apocalyptic landscape.
I went in. And there we had them. The summer piglets. Alas, the piglets.
They kept surrounding and curiously observing me. I kneeled down and they got closer. Their snouts wetting my hands and knees. I was happy and I was sad and we were enjoying this improvised playground, all sweetly and innocently embraced with hay.
I couldn’t leave without letting them know they were my very best friends.
We headed back home. Maybe three hours had gone by. The sun was still high but no longer glaring. I felt the bliss of the summertime.
We approached the brick-and-mortar house. My mum opened the gates. I noticed her hands wet as she led me indoors. They reminded me of the piglets’ snouts, silently kissing my arms and legs and knees.
My mum sniffed my forehead: Where have you taken the kid? She stinks. My dad could be seen nowhere around.
Off she took me to the shower. She rubbed my skin with rather indelicate moves, desperately wanting to get rid of the piglet smell.
I wanted to cry. I wanted to keep my piglets close at heart, and close to all my senses, satisfying my prematurely intricate sense of smell.
Alas, the piglets. Bye friends. I won’t be back. But I will forever remember your sweet smell in the summertime.