baloney roll-ups

I’m watching a hockey game.

Rangers v Capitals, game seven from Madison Square Garden. the Caps beat the Boston Bruins in seven in their last series, and now they’ve got the number-one seed on its home ice, and I know nothing about hockey save the Stanley Cup playoffs are always entertaining, and the Caps being a game away from the conference finals is enough to get me to stream game seven online on the other busted-ass laptop that I own. it’s through a website with an .eu fix. it’s buggy as hell, and regularly brings the broadcast in via Sweden — at least I think they’re speaking Swedish … or some sort of Scandinavian nonsense. yeah, that’s right, nonsense.

but tonight’s broadcast is brought to you by CBC, and that means lots of Tim Horton’s ads, Hockey Night in Canada, and yes, Coach’s Corner. most of what I know of Don Cherry comes from a Propagandhi song that describes him a war-mongering, nationalist nutjob. and whiel I can’t speak to that, he’s a pretty strange lookin’ son of a bitch regardless. I guess dressing like a carnival barker is his thing. and hey, everybody needs a thing.

so let’s get down to business

tomorrow is mother’s day. is that supposed to be capitalized? probably. but I’m not going back, we’ve come too far. I’m going to remember to call my mom tomorrow morning. I just talked to her tonight, and she had just walked in from the community garden, where she puts in work during her free time. but maybe calling it work isn’t the right description …

my mom is a master gardener. she is self taught. the way she approaches gardens has always made me think she must’ve been a great student — she has a perennial flower garden in the front yard of the house in Indiana, and in it she knows what will bloom when. she’s figured it out as she went along, over decades of seasons. I guess that’s passion. but she would describe it with a term: fake it ’til you make it.

she plays it loose with that term. but mom applied this term to her role as a consumer while I was growing up. my GI Joes were off-brand, for instance. but I particularly remember her answer to my whine about the glaring absence of fruit roll-ups from my diet. there was pressing need of them, I argued. pressing. Philip Davis’ mom bought them, and we didn’t, and that was bullshit. I was probably about six.

“here,” she said, digging into one of our lunch bags at the kitchen counter. she unpacked a sandwich, lifted out a thin circle of Oscar Meyer balogna. folded it into a loose wrap. “baloney roll-up.”

I was aghast. the memory has stuck.

on the phone tonight, mom said grandma wasn’t feeling well due to a cold, and as such they might bail on Cracker Barrel tomorrow. when I was in grade school Cracker Barrel, on minor holidays, was our family’s equivalent of the ol’ meeting house. grandma loved that place, and that love has held up; on mother’s day, grandma calls the shots, and grandma will often call for Cracker Barrel. bookies across the midwest know this.

so it sucks she’s under the weather. grandma has earned lunch at Cracker Barrel a couple thousand times over. she has put in 91 years, and a good chunk of what were supposed to be her golden ones were spent hauling water for my dumb ass. making dinner every night. doing all of the laundry. helping keep the lights on with her Social Security check. so when I fuck up — which seems to happen a lot these days — it’s not lost on me that someone put a serious, sober effort into getting me here. I owe them a lot.

so grandma and mom — I might not get to the moon. but I am gonna try.

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3 comments so far

  1. Drustva (@drustva) on

    Hey dude, I really enjoy your writing. And how adorable is your grandma?

  2. dudeokay on

    Hey Dru,
    she’s admittedly pretty damn adorable.mouth like a sailor, though. I’m glad you like it! please keep reading, I’ll write something new sooner or later.

  3. […] Come on, bro, it’s just mom and grandma. We can handle it. I bet we’ll go to McDonald’s and get breakfast and senior coffees this […]


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