A Jar of Macadamia Nuts

“Things aren’t important.

Things are important.

Does that make sense?”

 

She stood before me

In the supermarket.

A friend, I haven’t seen in over a year.

A disease that is slowly melting her cartilage away.

She smiled joyfully at me,

In front of the shredded cheese.

Her happiness had nothing to do with the cheese.

I hope.

 

“I think so.” I replied.

“Big things aren’t important.

Small things are.”

 

Her smile continued.

“Yes last year I couldn’t stand.

I might have to have surgery to fuse my spine.

I won’t be able to move my head ever again.”

 

I said, “Like this?”

Slowly moving my back, neck, and head from side to side as one

Imagining what life would be like,

Like a naive child learning about homeless for the first time.

 

“Yes,” she said.

We stood, for a moment, in silence as the Friday shoppers passed us,

In a frenzied passion,

As if the three for two special

Held the meaning of life

Or the riches of Solomon.

 

“You look well,” I said and I meant it.

In fact, she looked beautiful,

With a knowledge and understanding

That few possess.

 

 

“Thanks,” she smiled again.

Her eyes closed as discomfort from her condition took hold of her.

“I can only get around now for small amounts of time

And I’m about done.”

 

I noticed a jar of Macadamia nuts in her hand

And looked around for her cart.

“Is you cart somewhere?”

 

No, this is all I came for.”

I looked confused

So she continued,

“Last year I couldn’t stand,

I couldn’t clean.

I couldn’t be the mother

I wanted to be.

Everything I thought I once was,

I wasn’t.

I couldn’t even bake.

I love baking.

For now,

At this moment,

I can do things,

Small things,

Simple things.

Today I can bake cookies.”

She looked at the jar in her hand

And smiled sadly.

“Today I can bake,

Silly really.”

 

Not silly at all.

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About oxrider

Mr. Winter has written novels, books of poetry and short stories, and books on acting. He has written over three dozen plays, winning the S.C. Playwright’s Festival. His inventive theatrical work has been seen in the US and Europe. A.F. Winter has been acting, teaching, and directing, for over 30 years. He created a theatre which worked with at-risk youth giving them positive alternatives in their lives. Please visit his website at AFWinter.com. View all posts by oxrider

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