We Ate Our Last Meal Together At The Pfister
We ate our last lunch together at the Pfister,
my Grandma and I
I wrote a story about it the other week,
except then I did not know it would be our last meal
when I sat next to Grandma
and we both ordered the salmon salad
from a booth in the café.
The nice thing about a booth
is that it allows multiple people to sit in the same seat
like a couch
like you’re at home
with the passion for hospitality.
She had been talking about taking us out
to a meal at the Pfister for weeks before,
a stupendous outing, a big to-do.
After our meal we slowly ambled through the ballroom
as I carried her purse
which must have held fifteen pounds
of everything anyone could possibly ever want from a grandma.
Chickadee, find would you like a stick of gum?
Do you need a Kleenex, a dab of lip balm or lipstick?
Life savers, a wallet stuffed with family photos,
five dollars worth of change
and biscotti at the ready,
like her kitchen table
that three weeks after our last meal
has a stack of all her receipts
with the one from the Pfister on top,
obviously her favorite purchase
of the bunch,
an afternoon with the family
she loved so much
that she kept two refrigerators
and an industrial freezer
stuffed with chickens, soups, roasts
and ravioli at the ready
in case we all showed up
with a platoon of long-lost relatives
and their neighbors all
a symphony of deep
in need of their 88-year-old matriarch’s
wooden spoon and steel stew basin magic.
A month ago she cooked Christmas dinner for eight
with both conventional and organic broccoli
(just for me, the grandchild with a zillion food sensitivities)
“Well, I don’t want you getting sick, Anja-Mangia!”