Never ate very much either—
things like soft-boiled
eggs and smidgeons of meat—
maybe some borscht from a
though she ate little,
she feared much—
Curiously, one of her biggest fears was grease—
that somehow grease would
get into her food.
When your father thought you were too young to be paying attention to
he'd say to your mother
that, if anybody ever even said the word grease around Aunt
she'd get sick.
One night your mother and father took the you
and your aunt to a seafood restaurant.
Your mother ordered shrimp; your father, crab.
Aunt Bessie ordered baked fillet of flounder
and your mother told the
waiter that you'd like flounder too.
When you got your fish, you ate it thoughtfully,
trying to decide whether it
tasted good or not
and just then you hit
upon an interesting idea.
As you chewed your fish, you said with mouth half full:
"Mom, this flounder tastes sort of— greasy."
"How could it taste greasy?" your mother said.
"It's just a nice mild piece of flounder."
"I don't know," you said, shaking your head.
"It sure tastes greasy to me."
In the car on the way home,
Aunt Bessie sat silently beside you,
licking her lips and
"Wow, Aunt Bessie, didn't you think that fish was greasy?
I can't believe how greasy it was," you said.
Once home you went to bed
in the middle of the
you heard voices in the
bathroom down the hall.
"You're going to be fine," your mother was saying.
"Just let it all come up."
"It's her imagination," your father bellowed from their
"For Christ's sake, get back to sleep."
You always loved Aunt Bessie and you're not sure why you did what you
An experiment perhaps.
One of many in your life.