Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Apartment 2D - 2

Apartment 2D - 2

She had lived in the apartment for a certain number of years, but she had lived with its stories and order and people for so long that it was as if she knew them from before she was born.

She knew the years when Nanny, her grandmother/mother's mother, had gone to buy her milk and other dairy products on the north side of the Parkway, when there were still farms there, not apartments. She knew the times when her 2 year old mom would play with the chocolate Poppy (mom's dad, her grandfather) had brought and smush it all over her bib and clothes. Her mom, whom Poppy called Boopchik, called it "cho-cho." She knew the times that it snowed so hard during parties they gave in winter that no one could get home, and guests camped out in the living room on the couch and chairs and carpet, with the help of plentiful blankets and pillows Nanny brought in, and how Nanny kept making coffee and tea and bringing plates of fruit and pastries during the long winter night so that it was kind of like a sleepover party.

She knew the Depression years when Nanny and her friends gathered to put back the furniture of families whose landlords had evicted them because they couldn't pay rent. She knew the years of the Meat boycotts when the neighborhood women, led by Nanny and a few others, wouldn't go to buy meat from certain butchers who had jacked up the prices and would not negotiate.

She knew the sad year when her Poppy left the Communist Party, and most of their friends and even many of their relatives wouldn't talk to them.

She knew the times when Nanny would buy mom a Charlotte Russe from Helen's bakery after mom had promised to eat the entire pastry but ended up eating only the whipped cream and telling Nanny, "You can eat the rest."

She knew the times when her mom came back exhausted from work and singing lessons and lay down on the living room couch before starting to make something for dinner. She knew how grateful her mom was to her future dad when he took her out for dinner after her full and tiring days.

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