Christmas cookies

She gave us desserts such as rice pudding studded with prunes, “ice cream” made from sweetened, whipped and frozen cream skimmed from the top of the milk bottle, graham crackers glued together with gritty frosting made of cocoa powder and margarine. My mother liked to save money. Never an extravagant cook to start with, the new house and its mortgage encouraged her to further measures of economy.

We ate soup made from leftover Thanksgiving turkey bones, bought day-old bread (“it makes better toast”), bottled homemade root beer in salvaged ketchup bottles, and lived one entire summer on radishes, swiss chard, and eggs from a flock of hens we raised.

Our sheets were made from flour sacks, my underwear was fashioned out of sugar sacks, and there was cardboard in the soles of our shoes. Sitting together in the dining room after supper, the family listened to the radio in the dark to save electricity. We never used the living room; we ate in the kitchen.

When I needed braces on my teeth, she was convinced that I had pushed them out of alignment by resting my jaw in my hand during the many hours I spent reading. I could have my teeth straightened, she declared, but only if I promised to repay the cost when I was an adult. The same thing happened when it was discovered in grade school that I needed glasses; I had ruined my eyes reading too much and it was my fault she had to spend money.

She sewed our wardrobe; my new clothes were always too big for me. That way I would get full use of their fabric before I outgrew them. When I entered junior high I used hand cream made with a formula provided by her Home Economics circle; it smelled like dog hair. I wanted a school sweater and she knit one, but without the white stripes on the cuffs and in dark maroon instead of the regulation crimson (“that light red will just show all the dirt”).

I could go on and on but instead I got out, I escaped. I went through a period of my life when I left all the lights burning in my apartment all night long. There was another period when I bought a new garment every week and left it hanging in the closet as “too good to wear”. It could be called conspicuous consumption; looking back, it probably was therapeutic.

She is very old now and, more than ever, accumulates money faster than she spends it. Old habits die hard. I think I am what could be called her caregiver. I do most of her shopping because she is housebound. The other day she needed some things and gave me a list.

When I delivered her grocery order I had a present for her   :   a jar of fancy Christmas cookies from Sam’s Club so she would have something to offer holiday visitors. She tried to reimburse me for the gift and I refused to tell her how much I had spent. It gave me a perverse pleasure to know that if she realized they cost more than a dollar per cookie she would never open the jar.

A friend messaged to ask if we were really so poor as to sleep on flour sack sheets. This is not about being poor; it is about obsessive economy. The mortgage mentioned above, issued for 20 years, was retired in four years.


You are a blank empty line.
Devoid of love.
You are solitary.
The endless curve of the world
Twisting through you.
A contortion.
A lonely flower with no colour.
A flying bird without a voice.
You are darkness without me.
I am fierce.
A rupture
Shattering the cool, calm carpet of clouds.
I splinter the sky,
Rape the stars,
Fracture the aurora.
I am an endless ball of passion.
I twist and turn and twirl.
I give life.
I preserve life.
I am the all seeing.
I am the all knowing.
I am the all being.
The son.

My Girlfriend's Birthday

Today I did some great things. First off I went to school for the first time this week... Getting over a sickness. I went to 5th period Java and that was over as quick as it started (Thanks Heavens). 6th period I normally have AP Psychology but for the week I've swapped Debate and that class. So I had Competetive speech which I only showed up for half of because I had to run home and get my casual uniform for our Madrigal performance at the DATC Davis Applied Technological Center? We were excused only 30 minutes into 7th period which was Seminary for me. I saw the girl of my dreams walk upon the grass and she made me glow as I was performing. She came to see me! I gave her a Milkyway candy bar, kissed her in front of my Madrigal friends and we departed. I returned for the last hour of 8th period advanced yearbook. Oh wow - random, but I'm listening to the second most romantic song. (First being Colide by Howie Day). The one I'm listening to right now is Only Hope by Mandy Moore. Continuing... I realized I hadn't finished the Debate article for Yearbook - deadline for sending it in finalized is way too soon. I've slacked for the first time in my life in school bah. Emily's parents claimed her grades went down ever since meeting me. That was correlational but not causation. Though meeting her has been both. I hope she doesn't read that...

Any way after teaching at Kaysville Elementary (chess job for Schoolhouse Chess), I went and bought a lighter from the Chevron to make sure I had a flame for the candle I was going to light. It's Emily's birthday today and I had these great plans to go sing to her Happy Birthday with a candle and a red balloon that says, "I love you!" I did just that and asked permission from her adivors in Guest Services to do so. She works in the woman's section (hint that's where men don't go). She sizes bra's which is so cool. Any way I lit the candle and made her hold it along with the balloon and then sang in my sexy Base II low voice Happy Birthday to her. She blushed - though I doubt she'd admit it. That was probably my third favorite kiss of my life. The first two of course are private... For now any way.

She had 30 minutes before her break so I went and learned more about my cell phone from the Verizon shop. That was good. I figured out how the T9 system blows - and that I can get better reception at my house if I dialed some stupid number and change my settings. I also went to the sword shop and met a guy by the name of Travis - he's an Lincoln Douglass debater who goes to North Ridge. We talked about swords at first then I woke him up with some funny chess moves and information. Then Emily called and we walked around. Eventually we made it to some shop that sold lotions and perfumes. I bought her 3 lotions I'll write their exact names later along with a perfume.

I let her go after some passionate kissing. She went home for her birthday bash that her mother didn't want to invite me to.
We had some chatting in the evening. She told me I turned her Birthday from Hell into her Birthday of Love. That made me smile.
Well it's time to hit the sack.

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