Every now and then Karin Kallmaker comes out with a series of short stories about lesbian romance.
This is one of my favourites. There are three short stories in this book. The first is 10 Quick and Easy Salads.
The title story is about Cindy who finds herself attracted to her neighbour. Every day she smells delicious food coming from her neighbour’s apartment and so she decides to make herself known with something yummy of her own. The problem, she can’t cook. So she gets herself a book on making salads and brings her neighbour a different salad every day. It is a charming and wonderfully written short story.
Last Call is the story of Rikki. She has fought hard to stay sober and yet she finds herself loving a bartender.
The title story stood out for me as something special. The other two were very sweet as well and the collection is well worth having.
Excerpt from 10 Quick and Easy Salads by Karin Kallmaker
I’m a nice girl and there are things nice girls don’t do. My mother was quite clear on that point, but my mother did not live downstairs from Jaycee Sofino.
Walking from my car to my apartment as I did most evenings, tired from the bland office work that paid the bills, I’d seen Jaycee lounging on her balcony while smoke curled from the small grill near her feet. The aroma of something sizzling in Teriyaki made me faint with hunger. The sight of her bare back and the armband tattoo on her right bicep woke up many other kinds of hungers.
Nice girls-my mother’s authority again-did not go for boys who wore tattoos. Jaycee Sofino was no boy, as her habit of going shirtless while she made her dinner had amply demonstrated. She also wasn’t straight, as the moans and screams from her bedroom a couple of times a month had more than proven. Since I’d moved in downstairs six months ago, there had been at least a dozen Sundays when my search for my newspaper had brought me face-to-face with a departing blond or redhead or brunette.
They all looked tired, and in a really good way.
I took care of one hunger by devouring the burger I’d bought on the way home from work. I’m all thumbs in the kitchen, much to my mother’s despair, and cooking is something I’ve never aspired to master. The long parade of boxes and buckets made Jaycee’s aromatic dinner all the harder to ignore. I tried to sublimate the other hunger with some chocolate and a movie, but in the end, like many other nights, the only thing that helped was my well-practiced left hand.
A nice girl, I thought several evening later, would wear a shirt if she was barbecuing on her balcony right above where a single, frustrated lesbian lived. My chicken bits tasted like dust and the yogurt I found in my nearly empty refrigerator was expired. It didn’t sport any growth, so I ate it anyway.
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Bits and Bobs
Publisher: Bella Books