Gordon did a mean impression of Flip Wilson’s Geraldine. He did. I was always a sucker for a guy that could make me laugh. We were in sixth grade together and he was, of course he was, the class clown. He was a bit pudgy, had dark almost black hair, and big brown eyes. He was taller than me – another trait I like in a romantic partner. In sixth grade, it was hard come to find a boy my age that was taller than me.
We were stationed at Camp Lejeune but living in town. I was at a civilian school made up, primarily, of military brats. Jacksonville was a very small town with absolutely nothing but 40,000 Marines. My dad referred to it as the armpit of the world.
It is cold as shit in here and I have a Calypso earworm in my head. Daylight come and I wanna go home. Like reggae, it’s impossible to be anything but happy when the music is blaring. And blaring it is. I want to go home — home where things are organized and orderly and sane. I am home, but my home is anything but what I need it to be. Still, I’m oddly cheerful.
Greek mythology says Calypso was a nymph who kept Odysseus on her island for seven years promising him immortality, but he preferred to go home instead. I can understand that. I want to go home too, but technically I am home. Home is just not very homey right now.
When I was a teenager, I wanted a magic potion, or cream or salve, that would rid me of acne for all time. As with all good magic potions, it had a dark side in that there would be adverse side effects, but I was willing to live with those. I wanted to be clear of acne. I still do. How can I be 63 and still have acne?
When I was older and began to realize the impact of time passing, I wanted to be able to store memories never to forget them. “I want to always remember this,” I would say. I’ve forgotten so many of those moments, but I remember saying it.
When I was older yet, I wanted a potion to keep my son young and innocent and safe. I still want that potion. Especially as he traverses the horror that life can be when things go awry. I want to wave a magic wand and make it better.
Step One: Buy a bag of Ocean Spray cranberries. Follow the directions on the back. You’ll need sugar and water and a pan and a stove. That’s it Takes 15 minutes if you dawdle. Pour into the turkey shaped tiny soup tureen reserved for cranberries. Put the lid on and chill.
Get curious about cranberry recipes that you see on the Internet that involve orange, cinnamon, and ginger.
Step One: Solicit recipes on Facebook for tried and true. Never mind that you loathe cranberries. You love ginger, cinnamon and orange together. Besides, your mother loves cranberries.
Step Two: Enjoy the comments from people who are in one of three camps: loathe cranberries, love Ocean Spray canned sauce with the ridges they use to guide sliced portions, or make sauce from scratch the way grandma did.
Step Three: Buy a bag of cranberries, cinnamon sticks, a knob of ginger, and a bag of oranges – the great big really pretty orange ones that look good in a cobalt blue bowl, Hyperventilate at the register over the cost.
Step Four: Send Jes a private message asking for clarification on her recipe. Wait for her response.