Sour Cream - A short story about today, March Thirtieth, Two Thousand Seventeen.
I did laundry today. First thing. I also found a purple shawl that had been inside the dryer and, for some reason, I put it out on the back porch on a hanger to blow in the wind and catch some early springtime sun & warmth. After having some tea and some grapefruit juice I went out and gently raked and collected all of the winter’s leaves that had amassed on the East side of the house since late last year. I didn’t know it yet, but mom was cremated today. The funeral home called in the late afternoon. I collected Tophe and hopped in the van ASAP. I was eager to have her home again. And then, during the drive, I thought of it - El Patio. It had long been our favorite New Mexican restaurant in town. Indeed, almost every single one of our respective plane trips into and out of Albuquerque was preceded by or followed by a trip to El Patio. She always got the same thing. The “#10”: green chile chicken enchiladas, no sour cream, and a glass of merlot.
I brought mom & Tophe into the patio and found a shady spot. “Anything to drink”, the waiter asked.
“A nine ounce merlot please”, I replied.
Mom sat expectantly on the table.
Tophe poked and prodded the ground for any scraps that may have been left behind during the lunch hour.
The waiter returned with our wine:
“Do you need more time or….?”
“No, I’ll have the number ten, thank you”
“Number Ten….I’ll have that right out for you…." I was purposeful in NOT saying “hold the sour cream”. The number ten always came with sour cream. When dining together I would ask mom to say “sour cream on the side” so that at least I could have some sour cream with my order that didn’t normally come with sour cream. Sour cream was extra everywhere else except the number ten.
When the waiter brought the plate I could only smile.
There was no sour cream……