Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Ketchup Soup

She stood in the kitchen, fuzzy slippers blackened at the toes, nubby slip~proof soles, worn thin. Her bottom lip sucker kissed her top lip over and over again. She was chewing.....

Chanty boy sat wedged in the high chair, a wadded up dish towel to his left, a rolled up T~shirt to his right. In case he teetered. We were hungry. I sat barefooted across from Chance at the kitchen table, toes stretching to tap, tap, tap him on his chubby thighs...make him smile. Robbie was makin' him cream of wheat and until it was ready, I had to keep him entertained. .

When she scuffed across the kitchen floor, blowing 'backy smoke on the bowl of grits, I kited past her, snapped the fridge open and stared ..... "Ugggggh"..... Milk, ketchup, mustard with crust on the cap, leftover po~cakes, a bottle of insulin, and 3 cans of Lite Beer. I slammed the olive green door shut and twirled in the kitchen, opened the pantry door. "Aint nothin' there" she murmered, never taking her eyes off the rubber spoon, off the baby she was feeding....

"Ugggghhhh"! I flopped back into the bentwood chair and without another word began knawing on my fingernails. "What the hell?" I mumbled and she never answered me. It was OK to cuss around Robbie, she did it all the time, and she wouldn't tell...
.

She swirled the spoon around the plastic bowl one last time, and Chanty had his encore bite....full and happy now, his heavy little head nodding, falling into the high chair tray. Fat and content, he would sleep well... She made sure of that....

She wiped her hands on the dirty green apron, walked to the kitchen door and spit....the kind of spit meant for contests between 9 year old boys. I watched it in slow motion, rising, hurling, flying....past the steps, over the monkey grass, into the blue blue sky..... And then she scuttled back into the kitchen. No words now. She opened the fridge and did the stare down. Eyes squinting. Nose scrunching. Then she hauled a big ole pot out from under the counter and made us all Ketchup soup. I stood behind her, falling in love. Noodles boiling, tumbling, rising, falling, plumpened in the rew. I put my face as close as I could to the gurgling pot, a steam bath of magic kissed me....
.
Four of us sat at the kitchen table, skinny legs dangling, tapping the floor, shoveling hot ketchup soup down our souls. Thanksgiving dinner would never be this good. Skinny beamed at me across the table, front toothless, and upper lip kool-aid stained. Curty boy slurped in silence. His tummy filling. Kimbies yummed out loud.....
.
We've tried to make it a dozen times since then. In poor times, silly times, late at night. It's never been the same. We've added gourmet spices, arty shaped noodles, food coloring, and bits of bacon... It's never been the same....
.
The magic is in the moment....
and
the
love....

10 comments:

Maithri said...

You
nourish
the world with
your words...
your peace...
your love..

I always feel full
when
i read you,

So much love,

Maithri

Gillian said...

Yes what Maithri said. You have the best memory. I am in awe. Again with your incredible writing...your fantastic!
xo

karma lennon said...

Magic is always in the moments. That's why magic's everywhere. :) Love this story, Singy!

Shimmerrings said...

Nothing ever tastes quite the same as it did when we were young... nothing will ever be as good, as nurturing, or quite as warm... *sigh*...

skinnylittleblonde said...

Hahahaha....Love it!
So many days I remember sitting with Robbie down at the lake with our bamboo poles pulled from the side yard...'fetchin supper.'

singleton said...

Maithri....
Much,much love to you too my friend. I miss you, miss my time wallowing in your world, your words....
But,
it's funny....
I know you're there
and I think of you
and your wisdom
at the darndest times....
Must be that butterfly in the wind thing!

Gillian....LOL! About my memory! There are five of us....and each one of us will tell every story a slightly different way.....Seeing through different eyes, and backwards through different reflectors! But still, the circle unbroken....Wishing you peace, Girl!

Karma...OMG! I have to catch up on everyone! How is Alabama! Much love, little one!

Sweetskinny....Yup! And "nope, throw them frogs back"! ILY and misssssssssss you!

i beati said...

that is so true. I have tried a zillion times to duplicate some grandmotehr things just had to be there.where is Landon??

WILSONART said...

Ah, the magic of ketchup soup,,,before noodles and macaroni were pasta. Short on ingredients, but long on 'can-do make-do', WILL-do.
And love.
My Mama's apple pie:
Huge lump of artery slammin' lard,
pinch of this, dab of that,,,
and the worlds scrawniest, wormiest apples ever dragged from a back yard.Sheer heaven for us, but Mama spent forever cutting out all the worm holes.
Never replicated, though I've tried,,,,it lacks her love.
Great post!

Maithri said...

My friend,

I'm watchin the news... prayin Ike will turn tail and head back to sea...

are y'all ok?

Sending love,

M

singleton said...

Ibeati....Isn't it so true? I've fouond the only thing we can deja vue is the sound of the wind, and suddenly I'm there on Nana's swing, dirty barefeet flying....the smell of collard greens....not the taste, the rustle of birds in the fall, I heard them a zillion times in the pecan trees and suddenly for just a flash, they're here...in palm fronds...reminding me She's here too....watching...loving....
Baby Love is getting soooooooo.....big! And laughing all the time! It's the Blessing!


Babs...Right? Unbelievable what Love will do....And one day Jack will say the same, remember the same....different story, same unconditional Love....And it grows, and grows, and grows....

Maithri...we are so good! Pray for the people who have already laid down in his path....I watched the news this morning and my heart just ached....400 lives in one clean swipe...who cares about screen porches and roofs? Knee high water? Much love, sweet friend...

Peace~love and ketchup soup
Sometimes we don't realize how very very blessed we are.....