Gente que Cuenta

Magic marmalade,
by Leonor Henríquez

A.H. Watson Atril press
A.H. Watson,
Alice falling down the rabbit hole,
Illustration for Alice in Wonderland, 1937

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      I uncovered the jar of marmalade ready to enjoy it with my breakfast toasts.

Then a fleeting thought flew through my head.

That mysterious dialogue between Alice and the Queen, in Lewis Carroll’s classic, Alice in Wonderland.

– It’s a very good marmalade, said the Queen.

– Well anyway I don’t feel like it – Alice said.

– Today you wouldn’t have it, even if you wanted to – said the Queen – The rule is: marmalade yesterday, marmalade tomorrow… but not today.”

Confused, I looked at my shiny jar again and an existential doubt possessed me, as if I had stumbled into the same rabbit hole where Alice fell.

– Could it be that “today” I don’t feel like having marmalade for breakfast?

I closed the jar and decided to have my coffee with a piece of carrot cake while I undusted the complete works of Lewis Carroll from my library.

It was an unusually stimulating and substantial breakfast, I must say.

I spent the day floating among mirrors, rabbits, Cheshire cat, queen of hearts, lobsters, caterpillars, turtles, mad tea parties.

The sun went down, leaving clouds with the shapes of lions and unicorns in the sky.

The perfect time for a “sundowner”, the drink when the sun goes down.

I reached for the bottle of wine, and when I opened it, again, the fleeting thought of the impossible jam crossed my mind.

This time, I decided to fight this threat of unfulfilled promise rule, “not today, tomorrow…”, with something I learned since birth: don’t leave for tomorrow what you can do today.

I poured myself my glass of white wine with a sense of promise honoured.

In this house the rule is: you have it today; not yesterday, not tomorrow.

The first sip tasted like glorious present, here, in Canada, my wonderland.

“Tomorrow”, which will be “today” and not “yesterday”, I will have toasts with butter and magic marmalade for breakfast.

For now, cheers!

www.atril .press Leonor Henríquez e1670869356570

Leonor Henríquez (Caracas, Venezuela) Civil Engineer by training (UCAB 1985), writer and apprentice poet by vocation. From her time in engineering emerged her Office Stories (1997), another way of seeing the corporate world. Her latest publications include reflections on grief, Hopecrumbs (2020) ( and “The Adventures of Chispita” (2021) ( an allegory of life inside Mom’s belly.
Today she shares her “impulsive meditations” from Calgary, Canada, where she lives.

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