I turn 28 today, sitting at the airport moving from one type of family to the other with equal importance, and two vegan red velvet cupcakes.
In the past two weeks I have been to Massachusetts, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. I feel like my life has flashed before my eyes. I can see in my minds eye the long strait house my grandmother grew up in with her family of 13, before I or even my mother had yet become an idea. I can feel the weight of the bench that lived alongside the table where they all ate meals in a single room of their shotgun double in downtown New Orleans. I know now that on Halloween they wore no costumes, but carried small pumpkins (before the days of GMOs made them big and watery) with candles in them. There was no candy handed out door to door.
Down the street on the corner was Mrs. White's sweet shop where a nickel would get your box of ginger snaps. Aunt Irma sent little Edna in to ask for the nickels, cause she was the smallest and cutest. My gullible baby grandmother wouldn't see that her sweetness was being exploited by her sister, and really maybe it wasn't since they both got to eat the cookies.
Pop was mean mean mean, my Momie tells me, my mom reiterates, and my uncle Johnny too. But when he was drinking tea and not alcohol you could sit on his lap and he'd be sweet. But he was drunk walking all the girls down the aisle in their beautifully built handmade dresses.
Ole mom would buy the beer and the cokes for the weddings, she'd make chilli and someone would make ham sandwiches, the kids got their own cakes, and were they ever beautiful. For the first few kids they'd have the reception in the house, open up the French doors that separated the main room and the kitchen... Or was it the main room and the bedroom? Dining room? I'd need to see a sketch of the house to be sure.