My grandma died, and then my mom got rid of all the eggs in our house. For years, no eggs. Not for breakfast, not even for cooking.
No eggs. Not one egg among us. None.
Ours was not a household in which questions from the children were encouraged or treated seriously.
Grandma died, and then no more eggs.
Grandma died, so no more eggs.
No more eggs because grandma died.
No sense asking why.
It was a mystery among mysteries (another reason we as children did not question it – it was merely one among so many exhausting many).
Later – much, much later – I learned that my grandma died of a heart attack (my mom initially told me she died because she had “a hole in her heart,” once again allowing her penchant for euphemisms to cloud event and circumstance and circumvent understanding). The belief was that high cholesterol was the cause of the heart attack (caused her heart attack). And because my family believed that eggs (and the oil sued to cook them) caused high cholesterol they, all of them, each and every last egg, had to go.
I don’t remember exactly when eggs were reintroduced into our home. But come back they did.
One mystery solved, only to be replaced by another.
At least no one had to die to cement this one, to hold it in place for us all.
At least, I don’t think so.
- A system of pneumatic tubes.
- Better snacks (healthy or otherwise).
- More dogs.
- A little less blame and a lot more slack.
- Keep it to 90 minutes or less.
- Make it optional…informed, but optional.
- Fire him already.
- Polish it.
- Yes to no.
- Unlimited dipping sauce.
- No time limits despite expiration dates.
- Your face.
- Still more dogs.
- SMOOTH LINES.
- Better coffee.
- Let it play out first.
- Just ignore it sometimes.
- Portable numbing agents.
- A cat or two. Or three.
- To the left, to the left.
- Now goes to 11!
- Prioritize those odd numbers.
They are best, in my humble opinion, when slightly spotted. But only slightly so – that, after all, is what gives them the perfect touch of sweetness to go with their inherent starchiness.
But anything more than that is too much. Too sweet, not enough starch and a rather unpleasant softness that sets in and only intensifies after that.
Buy them by the bunch, eat them too slowly (or not fast enough) and watch them all go bad at once.
My solution? Make banana bread!
(Or at least I would, if I knew how.)
My alternate solution? Store the soft, effectively useless bananas in the freezer until the day I learn how and decide to make banana bread!
Now, I admit it took a while. Realization was slow in coming, but as all things, it eventually hit. The frozen brown and black bananas (previously soft and still effectively useless) I’ve found in the freezers of a few of the places I’ve moved into over the years…they are the same bananas. They are different, but exactly the same as the ones I’m even now storing in my freezer.
They will never be bread. They were always not going to be eaten, never going to be bread.
That’s just nuts.
Just plain nuts, you hear?
I often dream of fish tanks. Several large and small and each and every one full of goldfish with bubble eyes and fish with glowing skin and sharp, innumerable teeth. There are also bettas and a few catfish. Quite the collection.
The fish tanks appear in different dreams, dreams not about the fish tanks but in which they linger in the background.
Regardless, in every dream, whatever the dream in which the fish tanks appear, I approach them and am horrified, struck by the realization that I have not fed the fish.
The fish are starving, and it’s all my fault.
So I feed them. But as I feed them the fish grow larger, they swell to grotesque size and multiply. More feed, more fish, more fish more feed. So many fish, it is insane.
I don’t often wake up at this point. But beyond this point the dream gets hazy, and I don’t know what happened (what happens) with the fish tanks and I don’t know what became (what will become) of the fish.
I know I don’t regret feeding them because of the fact I forget (have forgotten) that they are my responsibility, and I need to make up for it. It’s too late not to feel that way. Everything after that is perhaps regrettable, but then how do you fight the multitudes? Is that even the point?
Not when the fish are starving.
No, not then.
Some people are landscapes, and I catch myself staring at them so that I can take them in; their vistas, outlines and curves and bends. Each and every one of their distinguishing (and distinguished, depending, frankly, on the face) features.
It’s something I’ve done since as long as I can remember.
(And I remember getting into more than one schoolyard fight for “staring hard” at other kids and, once, as a first grader, getting into it deep a sixth grader whose prominent brow, delicate nose and permanently puckered mouth was like staring into the very depths of a suddenly de-randomized, nearly cogent universe…I feel like I was very close to something then, even if that something ended up chasing me back to the little kids’ side of the schoolyard, fists like cinder blocks raised in semi-righteous anger, puckered mouth ruining itself like a torn suture as they raged on at me).
It’s true, though: sometimes they catch me, the people do, staring at them. Taking them in. My options then are very limited. 1) Ignore and break away, or 2) Keep right on staring. Very little needs to be said in the moment.
Look. It’s not personal. You just have an interesting smile, a striking pose, an odd jawline, great limbs, a kind expression (or a monstrous one).
These are not compliments or criticisms or facts.
Just me, taking in the lay of the land and then moving on so we can both get on with the rest of our lives.
Now doesn’t that sound nice – isn’t that OK – if not totally one hundred percent reasonable?
If it wasn’t for the radio, I’d never be introduced to new music (new and new to me “new”).
What is this a sign of? Advancing age? The times?
If I am listening to the radio, I am likely in the car (the stations are pre-set from the previous owner so I just mash at them till I find something that I like or don’t dislike). Or I’m at the office. Or someone else’s office, the doctor’s, say, or the dentist’s.
But offices tend towards Top 40, which to the untrained ear (mine) sound like one long indistinguishable song with commercials jammed in at prescribed intervals.
Or they play “oldies,” the criteria for which are becoming increasingly arbitrary with time (like 50’s “Oldies”, 90s “Throwbacks”?). No help there, not for the uninitiated.
At my previous office, they played talk radio and podcasts. Even less help there. For all I know, they’re playing such things still. No music. No new (or “new”) music.
As for me, I will continue to experience new music as it comes, one song at a time, one car ride at any given time…
Unless I hook up the Bluetooth – which of course I will – with my playlist of exactly 8 songs, circa 2003.
The professor’s face was set amongst pleasantly rounded features – stub nose, soft cheeks spread across the gentle slope of his jawline, topped off by a pat of fine ginger hair and a pair of affable eyes that rested lazily under slightly-smudged and overlarge glasses.
We had been discussing my future as a graduate student. I mumbled something along the lines of “kind of” to one of his inquiries about my academic intents and ambitions.
“‘Kind of?’” he responded, laughter pulling those features into sharp, fine lines. “You’re either pregnant or you’re not.”
That sentence haunted me for a really long time. Months, weeks and so on. Even today, I think about it still.
That, and my response, which was simply a listless and non-committal, “Yeah.”
God. Damn. It.
So many other things that could have been said in that seconds after “you’re not.” So many things that should have been. Among these:
- “Only if I don’t know who the father is.”
- “Schrödinger’s pregnancy!”
- “Sir, I am pregnant until I’m not. And I’m not until I am.”
I think I have finally realized what happened, way back then. I missed it.
I had missed my shot.
Other people had said similar things to me since.
But it’s not the same.
Besides, the universe is not to be trusted when it comes to do-overs.
So many regrets in this life. In the end, what’s one more?
One more yeah.
- Dried out grapefruit is still grapefruit, but not great grapefruit.
- Semi-identical twins!
- Sometimes the weather really is all there is to talk about.
- If you put a dinosaur on it, I will buy it.
- More lemon water please!
- Take care of your cast iron and it will take care of you.
- Beware the jerks (but no need to fret over them).
- I like asking nicely until I don’t.
- My dog is DRAMATIC.
- Nothing like bad advice to put the rest of the day into perspective.
- Spicy beef patties or nothing at all.
- It’s good to be present, if not always available.
- Talents come in all shapes and sizes and, occasionally, smells.
- How to read the imperfect novel (still learning that one).
- Less brains doesn’t mean more heart.
- I hate “Actually.”
- Odd numbers please me.
- Descent into: chaos, madness, despair.
- Everything eventually possible.
- Skin deep is still deep.
- Normal vs. New Normal.
- Quietly: plotting, dreaming, lusting.
- Go. Ahead.
- Take out/Eat in.
- Lovely vs. Delightful
- Enough is already enough.
- Augmented: reality, fourths, butts.
- Profanity is life.
- Over the moon/Under the sun.
- Please Me vs. Excuse YOU.
- That was the deal?