My grandfather was driving my grandmother to the hospital who was carrying my still-fetal mother, who was trying to get out. He was chewing lemon drops. I have inherited from him a love of sour. The other day I made four key lime pies, which was a nightmarish process but the fruits of my labor were worth it. (My grandmother was driven to distraction by the sound of him chewing the lemon drops.) Jake takes a seat on the front step next to me and tells me I look nice. I said thank you, not looking him in the eye; I hate compliments sometimes. I thought, my grandfather, if he were alive and here, would really want a piece of this pie, even though I abandoned the meringue and I never heard of him eating pie without meringue. The light is right and perfect. I finish my slice and walk inside.

My mother and I found a box of popsicles in grocery store shelf mistakenly marked at fifteen cents. We milked it for what it was worth, but when that box was gone, no more of that brand returned.

Both of us, my mother and I, were set to emerge with cords around our necks. I used to joke that I tried to hang myself in the womb, but I don't think that is funny anymore.

The best kissers leave flavors in your mouth that you crave for months ever after. This is how I started on sweet liquor and cigarettes. Except I didn't. But if I did, it would be because of him.

Baby, it makes my day to know I could possibly make your day. You said I filled you with an ache you would ask for. I couldn't ask for better than that. I'm making people happy. I'm the magical man. I live in a gumdrop house on lollipop lane. In case you couldn't tell, that wasn't sarcasm.

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