I can smell and see my grandmothers' kitchen tonight as clear as day. I do sometimes do what I do best, which is type with my eyes closed, like I'm doiong now. It's a blessing to be able to, because I can dream and write at the same time. Especially when I'm tired, like I am right now. I'm actually half asleep.
I haven't been in that kitchen since the late 70s. Augustine Street. Rochester, NY. How can it have been 25 or 30 years already since I passed through that door? After my grandfather died, my grandmother managed in the house for a couple of years. But they were married over 50 years, and it was a big, big house. She couldn't stay forever. Or she could have, but she didn't.
The kitchen. My grandmother was the first woman in the community to buy a dishwasher. She was a smart woman. I remember the formica table, with the silver wrapped around the outside, and I remember the wallpaper the table sat against with its oranges and golds and whites, was it floral?, I remember the screen door to the back porch and how we never used the porch except to look out at my grandpa's tomato garden, and I remember the fridge over to the right, the long counters--they seemed to go on forever, and what must have been 3040 cupboards and drawers.
Her kitchen was immaculate and always smelled like meatballs waiting. My favorite spaghetti dinners were topped with spoonfulls of Pecorino Romano cheese (imported) and washed down with a glass of orange crush and ice.
My grandma made soup--just one more bowl if I could. They call it Italian Wedding Soup now, but we never called it that. We called it the chicken soup with the little meatballs. Oh. mmmm. and there was another kind of soup she made e that used a raw egg and eg noodles with a HEAPING couple of spoon fulls of grated cheese.
Her stove was top of the line. She didn't skimp where my grandfather would notice it the most--on her cooking.
Tonight is the strange night--I smell so clearly a meal waiting for me to sit down to. To wait for the cheese to come around the table.
I'm alost asleep now.