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Old Egg Beater

Main Ingredients:

  • first girlfriend
  • pickpocket
  • vanilla
  • oatmeal
  • stray cat
Spice Pack:

  • 1/2 dollop of optimism
  • 1/4 whisper of compassion

She sashayed by my porch like a stray cat.

"What are you reading, Johnny Cake?"

While our social circles lacked overlap, Laurita Escobar knew me, the most vanilla kid at Sudbrook. No one, teachers, parents called me anything but "Jonathan", except Laurita.

Bored, curious, maybe she saw? Why a popilar girl wanted to know about my comics, listened to me blab about purity of Superman even when cool kids like Alec Caputo sidled by, looking at us like we were birds to shoot.

Laurita's interest was real as her raucous laughter. She teased me for failing the "r" in her name, that I called her "gatolito", sternly wagging her finger... "gatito!"

Consider her my first girlfriend. She read me Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer poems, had me sit with her abuela making tamales, taught me to squeeze fresh lime in tacos, how to find Orion's Belt.

When Laurita asked me to cook, those eyes squinted when I suggested oatmeal. Epitaphs about "gringo gruel." But in the morning she was at the door.

Dull oatmeal. But I had my mother's secret- milk, lots of butter, churned with the old hand cranked egg beater, soft purring of worn metal gears. It's green chipped paint handle came with my grandmother on the boat.

Oatmeal had a fluid smoothness that even left Laurita wordless.

It never officially ended. Last I saw her she was hanging onto Alec Caputo's waist on his Honda Nighthawk.

Hungry after a writer's conference in Omaha, I find a place called "Lauritas" Through the kitchen door, I hear laughter, soft purring of a utensil.

The waitress boasts of their smooth blended secret recipe posole. It's fluid smoothness left me wordless.

I leave satisfied, thoughts of the gatito who not only stole my heart but also pickpocketed my grandmother's egg beater.


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