Monday, March 03, 2008

I always put brown sugar on my oatmeal

I used to wear my grandpa's jacket. An olive/brown corduroy blazer made for a man over six feet tall. I am 5' 6" ish. The jacket had a smooth satin lining the same color as the corduroy. My grandpa always forgot to wear his jacket when he went for walks and it was cold outside and sometimes he got lost. The jacket wasn't particularly warm. The lining held the cold and rubbed it against my skin. The jacket wasn't very comfortable because it was so big. The jacket had a hole in the right pocket. I used to wear the jacket in high school and then college and I don't know where it is now.

I still have my grandpa's cardigan. I have had this cardigan for 20 years. It used to have an argyle pattern on the front, but the color of the yarn has faded and now the whole sweater is a soft charcoal grey and you have to look real close to see the argyle diamonds. There are patches on the elbows and a hole is developing along the seam of one of the patches. The ribbing at the wrists is coming undone. The buttons have fallen off. I wear this cardigan when it is cold in my apartment and I need something to keep me extra warm. The cardigan is made of wool. It kind of itches and it isn't very comfortable. I don't wear it as much as I used to.

I have a pin that looks like a ribbon tied into a multi-looped bow. The pin has small jewels that make it sparkle. It used to belong to my grandma. I never met her. I know she was very pretty and very nice. She had a great big smile. My mom also has a great big smile. I used to wear the pin on the lapel of my jacket. But I don't wear it anymore, I keep it in a dish with other pins and buttons because I don't want to lose it.

My grandmother talked slow. I remember the way she moved. Smooth but at the pace of something like molasses. I have never seen molasses move. Her voice was high, almost nervous. Her speech moved at the same pace as her body. I remember visiting her house shortly after my grandpa died. We were having oatmeal for breakfast. She asked my brother if he wanted brown sugar on his oatmeal. He said, "No, thank you," but she had already started sprinkling the sugar on his breakfast. So she just kind of shrugged and kept sprinkling.


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