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Grassroots activist, feminist, sociologist, poop talk pro, future foster mom, travel whore, thrift store junky, music and food consumer.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

MY SHERO, MY INSPIRATION, MY BELOVED

Sitting on a bar stool at the counter. She sits on her stool in between repeatedly wiping the counter, washing dishes, & sweeping the floor. I stare at the electric tea kettle, the sugar dispenser, and all of the bags of tea in her mug. There is a tea kettle on the stove we use sometimes but not this time. I smell bleach from the dishwater. I think about how much I hate dishes washed in bleach.

We converse about so many things. We talk about her life before she wound up with granddaddy. Life in Mississippi. Papa. I watch the clock on the wall because there is a show coming on tonight that I do not want to miss. I have to keep an eye on the time because planned short visits easily turn into hours of chatter. Regardless, of the length of our conversation, I am beautiful, smart, and she encourages me to keep doing what I'm doing. She looks at me with piercing eyes to tell me all these things. Every time.

When grandaddy was around, he would interject on occasion. She didn't like that. She never liked that. I would laugh and think about that skit from In Living Color, "And [they're] stiiiill together!" Granddaddy would be eating his peanuts fresh out of the oven or his half a watermelon with a spoon. I would get some if I was in the mood and I usually was. He would finish and go sit on the porch. Our conversation would continue.

Tell me more about the 40s, the 50s, the 60s. Did you march on Washington? Did you wear a fro back when it was popular? What was your mother like? Why did you move to Chicago? Why did you marry granddaddy? I need to ask some follow-up questions about our last conversation. What did God say? Yeah, he did say that. Tell me about my daddy growing up. She was meticulous with every response. Every single one. I would only know what she felt I should. She loves to drink vinegar water. I think its disgusting but our conversations are more interesting when its in her cup.

Greetings were always accompanied by kisses. Wet ones on my cheek. Leaving became a ritual of multiple announcements of my departure. From the kitchen to the porch to the drive to the street. It was a slow and drawn out process full of good-byes and I love yous. Departures meant many waves and looking back multiple times as she stood at the edge of the porch watching. That house dress flowing in the wind. My feet hitting the pavement.

I wonder if she knows I am stealing pieces of her to carry with me forever. I smile because I know she knows.

1 comment:

  1. Vinegar water my behind. That's when I became a heffa lol. Of course you couldn't put everything in because Grandma was so amazing. She had a cure all oil that took me years to figure out.

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