Sunday, February 27, 2011

Daddy Smells Like Sodium Nitrite

Angie and Mama and I went trespassing one evening. Mostly it was me and Angie while Mama played look-out at the end of the driveway. This is the old house. The house we all used to live in together. Mama and Daddy and Wendy and Angie and me. I was only seven when we moved out but I have very vivid memories of that old place. Please trust me when I say that it looked nothing like this when we all lived there. Also trust me when I say that if I were ever face-to-face with the born into privilege, rich as Croesus assholes who inherited this old beauty I would spit directly in their eye for allowing her to fall into such utter and tragic disrepair. Disgraceful. I used to ride my scooter across that front porch. Now it's fallen in under the weight of all of the tires and plywood they've piled on top. I mean seriously? Tires? My parents and my sisters worked so hard on that house. We nearly froze to death in the winter and there was more than one incident with a horny bull/rooster/billy goat but dammit I loved that place. Angie and I stood out in the yard and looked across the pasture where our old dog Napoleon is buried and we held one another and cried for our tired daddy and for ourselves.

The next day at Sam's Club, I spotted a rack of Smithfield country hams and before I even though about it I buried my face in the cloth bag and inhaled. Pure Daddy. For over two months I've been trying to smell him. His clothes don't smell like him. Not really. They smell like Mama. His truck smells like him. But then not really him. But that goddamn country ham... that country ham was like he'd pressed his finger to my sore heart. Again, more tears. More me and Angie clutching one another sobbing, only this time we were standing in the middle of Sam's Club on a Sunday afternoon. Church folks holding samples of cheese quesadillas were taking wide berths around us. "Daddy smells like sodium nitrite!" I wailed to my sister and we both howled with laughter and I promised her I'd make that a blog post title.


Tonya said...

awesome post. did you get to go inside? i bet that house was great back in the day.

jan said...

nope, tonyaru. we didn't go inside. mama said we'd have to go back later with a flashlight. it was such an awesome house. it had a Victrola and a bear-skin rug in the attic and 14-foot ceilings. when i win the lottery i'm gonna buy it and renovate it and you and b. are gonna visit.