Food Memoir

Another memoir I wrote for an English class. It’s supposed to be a food memoir. I’m not sure it fits the requirements but I think it definitely belongs on this blog.

I think my grandmother makes the best blueberry muffins. Or at least, she used to. I’m not sure what happened. It wasn’t anything sudden. She just gradually stopped making them. Eventually, she stopped cooking too. Again, it wasn’t anything sudden. Everything just gradually changed. I’m not sure if it was for better or worse. Things just changed.

The day was like any other. I got up in the morning and dressed for school. I could smell the faint waft of bacon coming from the kitchen. I could hear the clatter of plates and the mixture of voices. Somehow, the day seemed bright, warm. It was home. Just another day in our household.

There were a total of six people living under our roof. Seven, if you count my aunt’s boyfriend that was “temporarily” living with us. His name was Maine. My sister and I extremely disliked him. He forced us to eat black-eyed peas once. We’ve hated them ever since. My nickname for him was “mean man”. It was somehow a joyous day when my grandmother finally kicked him out.

While I tried to shovel pancakes into my mouth before the bus came, my grandfather asked me for the umpteenth time if I had completed my homework last night. He knew I had. He had sat across from me while I did it, in the event I should need his help. He even went over it for mistakes once I was done. But I answered with a respectful, “Yes, sir.” Before he could ask again, I heard the familiar rattle of the school bus coming down our street. Saved by the bus. I went on my happy way to school, never once thinking that my life would change in a single night; that my home would never be the same.

The day went by in a blur. It was night before I knew it. I was already washed and ready for bed. I was preparing to kneel before my bed and pray, as my grandmother taught me to do every night. I heard yelling. Running feet. Doors slamming. Glass breaking. It was chaos. I was afraid. We lived in a one-street neighborhood. Everyone knew us. A burglary was doubtful to happen.

I peeked outside. Silence. I heard the floorboards creaking. I glanced to my left and saw my grandfather striding down the hall. He was headed in my direction. He didn’t glance at me standing in the doorway of my room. I don’t think he saw me. I followed him out of my room and called his name.

There was such a forlorn look on his face. He still tried to force a smile for my sake. When he took a step closer, only then did I notice the clothes draped across the back of the sofa to his right. Suits, Oxford shirts, pants, etc. I may have been young but my grandparents always bragged about my intelligence. Those were his clothes and it was my grandmother’s voice that had been yelling earlier. He was leaving. I started to cry even before he reached me. His cologne surrounded me as he gathered me in his arms. “Don’t go”, I begged. He replied, “I have to.”

I took a step back and wiped my eyes. I didn’t want to cry. I wanted to look composed while I tried to convince him to stay. A glance at the set of his mouth changed my mind. I knew he wouldn’t be moved by begging or crying. “Goodbye”, I said. He smiled. “Don’t say goodbye, say see you later, alligator”, he replied. He stood up, grabbed his clothes, and left.

After that, I started to notice small changes around the house. Maine got kicked out as well. My grandmother stopped cooking breakfast. On the rare occasions she cooked dinner, she didn’t make blueberry muffins. That night, I said goodbye to my grandfather and my favorite dessert.