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Home, I whispered, sniffing the air, finding many reasons to come back into the cluttered blue bathroom just to sniff again.
This was a shiva. Melís mom had died over the weekend and the family, neighbors and school buddies of Melís tough-guy-brother were there to pay their respects and to feast on the seemingly endless supply of corned beef, pastrami, bagels, tuna fish, potato salad, cole-slaw, pickles and rye bread spread out over the plastic clothed dinette table. Half of the kitchen floor was crowded with bottles of cream soda, seltzer and Diet Coke. ďGet yer soda from the floor, the ice is in the fridge,Ē explained Melís friend the kitchen hostess for the evening.
Home; surely I was there; watching Melís dad babbling about nothing, not sure he was dreaming that his wife was dead or that he was too and Mel asking all to eat because there is so much, too much and the cousins who showed up late to eat quickly and leave before anyone noticed they didnít bring anything.
The girlfriend of the youngest brother read her list of prices at Lord and Taylor with the 15% discount chart lovingly prepared by Melís mom and all chime in to offer their tales of Tilly the marathon shopper and champion deal-maker and I am home, home, home, so dizzy in my fall, so unsure of who I am and where I am and I am back in 1992 in an instant and my motherís shiva, slicing bagels for the sisterhood, asking all to eat, eat, eat because there is so much and nobody cries, nobody ever cries until I do 8 years later at Melís place when I read the story of how Tilly showed her daughter the proper way to test a bra.
I go back into the bathroom to smell the musty-Ivory soap-conditioner-mildew-love again and stare at my face in the medicine cabinet and look for her to come out of my eyes, as she does, whenever Iím quite sure sheís gone for good and then sheís there smiling in my pupils saying,ĒNo more tears my shana madelah, eat something, thereís so much, too much. Eat something and make your mother happy.Ē
All material © copyright 2001-3, Rossi
But wait! There's more!
the Family supper
The Last Road Trip
Cabbage and Noodles
Days of Awe
Rabbis and Mozzarella
The Guilt Wheel
The Breakfast March
TOTALLY COMPLETELY AND ABSOLUTELY NORMAL
Miss New Jersey
Ramada Inn Makes Nice Soap
Buying a Piece of Jackie
Introduction to Memoirable ... Return to Kingston Avenue