The asphalt vaporizes. We are walking, me and him, provincials from the South, down the pavement of one of the main streets. A little jar filled with mint is sticking out of one of the pockets of his baggy pants. It’s the kind that grows in country yards. You dry it, then chop it up – you mince it. You pour hot water over it and leave it alone for a few minutes. Tea. Hot tea. On this hotter noon. I had cramps this morning. I threw up. The mint is good for your stomach. This is tasty mint. One could chew even raw mint leaves. I hate bagged tea. The mint tea bags have nothing to do with this one, in this little jar. We wait a few minutes in front of the traffic light. A little red crosswalk man. My father is anxious and says we should cross while it’s red. Come on, fast, fast, he says. Nothing’s gonna happen. I stop him. You’ll get hit by a car, I tell him. They’re driving like crazy. Wait for the little green crosswalk man. The little jar will drop. It’ll break. The mint will spill over on to the asphalt, old man. I stop him at all crossroads. The Sun is so strong, you can’t recognize the colours of the traffic light. I want to live here. I want there. We return the key to the apartment I didn’t like. We return. This time there are no crossroads, no traffic lights. We’re walking down a long, an endlessly long straight street.
Give me the little jar, I tell him. He smiles shyly. He always does. Like a child. Like a child with half his teeth grown in. He hands me the jar blinking. I look in his small dark eyes with droopy eyelids. A chocolate look with the smell of cinnamon and vanilla. I don’t like the days when I have cramps. I’ll have a cup of hot tea on this hot noon.
In the little glass jar I notice tiny burgundy notches. Little, tiny, playful red crosswalk men. I return the old key on the key-chain.
We should’ve jaywalked and the mint would’ve stayed green, my father interjected from the living room.
The nearest market is 100 meters from here. In the forth row, on the third shelf, there are hundreds of kinds of bagged tea.
Translated by: Elida Bahtijaroska