I bought a can of Pringles tonight. I don't usually buy chips, unless I'm having a party, but for some reason, when I went to the store, they sort of called my name.
When I popped open the can, this flood of memories came back. Maxine. Grandma. Indiana.
We used to visit my grandmother every summer in Indiana. She'd do all the grandmotherly things - buy us toys and ice cream and take us to parks and farms and let us play (read: bang) on her piano. She had a tiny garden in her back yard, where she grew all kinds of vegetables, including corn. I don't know that she ever harvested that corn - the birds seem to get more of it than she did, but I thought it was amazing that she grew all this stuff. Especially considering she couldn't cook worth a damn. She was the only person I knew who could burn water.
One day she decided to take us to visit her friend Maxine. Maxine was this older black woman, who always looked like a million bucks. She always wore a dress and stockings and fancy pumps and she never went anywhere without a hat. I'd met her before because she and my grandmother were good friends, but I'd never been to her place.
It was an apartment. I'd never met anyone who lived in an apartment, suburban kid that I was. And I'd certainly never seen an apartment like Maxine's. It was a townhouse and the entire house was carpeted in pure white shag carpeting. It was immaculate and full of knick knacks and it had a stairway that curved up to the second floor. The staircase freaked me out because it was one of those that didn't have risers, so it was open and I was terrified that I was going to slide thru and fall.
Every time I eat Pringles, I think about Maxine, and my grandmother, and that beautiful, white carpeting. It's like a memory in a can.