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Jett Superior laid this on you on || February 9, 2002 || 1:28 am

Today Maxim brought home a clear plastic box with big, fat cinnamon rolls neatly lined up inside. Lots of times, after romancin’ one another, we like to share a little treat in bed. He had already consumed one today, and was going on and on about how good they were. While he turned to the stove to stir the chickpea soup I had on, I pinched a bit of one off to sample it.

I took a bite, chewed once, chewed once more thoughtfully and immediately burst into an unexpected wash of hot, miserable tears.

He turned to look at me, and in the voice that he reserves for the children when petting them, said, “Baby, what’s wrong?”

He knew it was nothing physical, because when I am hurt I cry out in pain quickly, but then get very silent and focused on ridding myself of the pain of injury. I don’t cry over physical ills or woes.

“This cinnamon roll,” I choked out, “It tastes just like my memaw’s…..” and that was as far as I could get before another small hiccuping sob took over and he folded me in his arms, placing one hand on the back of my head. We stood like that for several minutes, me shaking and crying quietly, him pressing his lips to my forehead, until I could compose myself. Then I explained to him what troubled me so.

It was not that the cinnamon roll reminded me of my grandmother’s lovingly-prepared rolls, and at the same time it was. Since my grandmother died I have not been able to find a cinnamon roll or a coconut cake to rival hers. It’s been like a closet pursuit of mine, a magic chalice that I quietly took some comfort in because it was unattainable. But now here’s this cinnamon roll and it tastes exactly like the ones she so painstakingly prepared for her family. Just how many times have I declared, “There’s not a person walking that can make a coconut cake like my grandmomma could, or a batch of cinnamon rolls, either.”? And now here’s this fucking store-bought roll that tastes every bit like she had a hand in it and I am swiftly and strangely crushed.

I am a total loon. Somehow this is revealing, but it is too disquieting a prospect for me to journey into Self-Discovery Land over this right now.

I fear becoming elderly a great deal (we’ll delve further into that one later) but I have never for one minute in my life feared death. This has been especially true since my teen years. I guess the fact that she is waiting over on the other side for me lends to this lack of cowardice. If I die, then I’ll get to be with her. I’ll get to lie my head in her lap and feel her hand on my head, caressing it.

Sometimes I feel like she is so close, but so unreachable…..like she is just concealed behind some thin membrane, some tenative and stretchy part of our world and if I could just find that spot I would be able to reach through and touch her once again, feel her soft but firm hand in mine, smell the easy, floral essence she carried with her. Part of me takes pause every so often and I am agonized, knowing that she is present and I can’t see her physically manifested. I want to just have her for an afternoon and pamper her the way she did everyone else, with that unfailing strength of character and grace of manner. I want to sit and have coffee and hold her hand and hear her laugh. I want to know her opinion on the world in general and me in particular. I want to ask her how she put up with my grandfather’s shit all those years; did she really and truly love him, or was she his wife of over fifty years because that’s the way they did it in her day? I want to know how she could have eight children and thirty-eight grandchildren and still manage to know us, to know us as individuals and make each of us feel special. Especially me.

I think she was probably knew me better than anyone in my lifetime has known me thus far, and that includes my own mother.

Maybe I am taken by this whole cinnamon roll matter because someone has taken away a bit of the magic that was my memaw. Some mere mortal can do something to the same degree that she did it while she was here (I hesitate to say ‘alive’, because she is every bit as alive to me now as she was then….now she’s just unattainable) and that is a shock to the system. It lends to those brief moments of doubt when a little voice at the back of my noggin says fucked-up, grody shit like, “What percentage of it is real and what percentage of it is myth? Have you deified her unjustly?”

I haven’t, and I know I haven’t, but my brain is really great at playing the asides for me, the groovy dog-and-pony tricks with me.

I’ve missed her for so many years now; you’d think the missing would eat itself up, but it hasn’t. I just want to be with her again. She understood me like no one else did, and she never even had to tell me that. Like the adage goes, “Those who speak don’t know. Those who know don’t speak.” I’ve just always known without her speaking it. It’s part of her magic, and I am fortunate to have been her grandchild.

Nobody worked it out »

Don´t be shy. Lay it on me.

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