Now let me tell y’all about this container.
This container was the bane of my existence as a child.
When my family was super poor, we moved in with my grandmother.
And let me tell you, my grandmother is a strange lady. Not weird, or mysterious. Just. strange.
She lived in this giant house, with a broken down fountain, shattered greenhouse, and wallpaper that hadn’t been replaced in a good 50 years. The basement stairs had newspapers like, stuck to them, in laminated cakes. She had a bed the size of a city, and she kept food in her fridge indefinitely. This is a habit she has kept up. Because she makes meals for just herself, she’ll buy the ingredients, use small amounts, and then buy more for next time. Thus leaving a series of red peppers and various stages of decay all around her fridge. Half a can of juice concentrate with dead houseflies who got stuck.
When it was suggested to her that she say, fix the greenhouse, she would insist that it couldn’t be done. It’s impossible. What’s done is done. It’s old. There are no repairs.
My grandmother had this container. An odd container, sure. But it’s perfect for sugar to drink with your tea, or something, right? Pour some sugar in there, stick a spoon in it, keep it around the kitchen.
That’s what she thought, too.
Unfortunately, she thought the same about salt.
She though that they were both equally good options, really.
So you never knew.
And as a young child, it took me a long time to clue in to this. Sneaking in to the kitchen, and eating an entire spoonful of sugar is great and fun,
until it’s not.
UNTIL IT’S SALT.
UNTIL YOU’VE LITERALLY JUST DRAINED ALL THE FLUID FROM YOUR MOUTH BY SWALLOWING A TABLESPOON OF SALT
But here’s the thing: You never knew.
One week it would be sugar, and you’d test it every time you got some,
but just when you thought it was safe,
nope, salt. It’s salt, and you just put a cup of salt on your dessert.
I WAS FIVE YEARS OLD WHEN I MOVED IN TO THAT HOUSE, AND I HAVE NEVER RECOVERED.
I LIVE, TO THIS DAY, TERRIFIED NOT ONLY OF THIS CONTAINER, BUT OF WHITE GRAINY SUBSTANCES IN GENERAL.
What’s harder is that I know I will grow up to BE her.