Bro’, You Heavy

My bro’ is stew, or in the sewers. I am sorry for what I did, but I was tired.

Bub, my bro’, weighed a ton. For breakfast, he would eat six bowls of Honey Monster Puffs, five fried eggs, four strawberry Pop-Tarts, three buttered waffles, two thick slabs of bacon, and a partridge in a pear tree. I exaggerate. He did not eat the tree. I will not bother writing the rest of what he would eat during the rest of the day; it will just make my journal look like a grocery list. And remind me how close to broke I was getting because food is not getting cheaper. It is a good thing I get to take home some leftovers from Hog Heaven, where I wash dishes and bus tables. I also get a 10% discount at the Food Mart, where I stock the shelves three days a week.

I been taking care of Bub since our Memaw passed on for a good 13 years now. She was our Mama’s mama and pretty much took care of us growing up. Mama ran away not long after she had Bub. I was only five. We were playing hide ‘n seek and I could not find her. When Memaw’s fingers curled up from arthritis, I took care of Bub. Mostly, I showered him once a week and then clipped his toenails every three months. He chewed off his fingernails.

Every chance I get, I go to the town library to read and improve my words. I been writing every day about what I been doing. I want to write about what happened to Bub. We were invited to Mr. M’s for dinner. His name sounds long and I do not know how to spell it.

I met Mr. M. at Hog Heaven many nights ago. He was having dinner by himself. I accidentally dropped a plate on his lap when I took it to put in my bin. He was waiting for dessert. He did not shout at me but he kept poking my arms. I was getting embarrassed. He started to talk to me about how he just got back from traveling outside the country.

“I like to eat different kinds of food, especially meat. . . Now tell me about yourself.”

I told him about Bub and how he looked like the Michelin Man times five. Okay, only times three. I talked about how I had to spend most of my money feeding Bub and a lot of time cooking for him. I almost cried. He seemed interested and invited us to come have dinner with him the next night.

Mr. M lives near Food Mart, so it was easy for me to find his house. I remember how glad I was to save some money because I did not have to make dinner that night for Bub and me. I eat a lot too, but only a third as much as Bub.

Mr. M opened the door before I could knock. I smelled something good when we walked inside. Mr. M said he made a big pot of soup. I hoped secretly there would be more food. He led us to the dining room and sat us around the table.

“Let me grab something in the kitchen,” he said.

He came back with an iron skillet and hit Bub right on top of his head. Bub slumped on the chair. I cried out why.

“You told me you were tired of cooking for him. Now for a change, he can feed you. Let’s have dinner. He’ll make a good hash.”

I did not know what to say at that point because no one had ever made me dinner before. I always wondered about that saying—what comes around goes around. I served Bub and now it was his turn to serve me. I think Memaw would think this was fair.

Bub’s sister set aside her journal and stood up. She stretched and yawned. She felt as if a burden had been lifted off of her; she didn’t have to cook for a while. Mr. M had proven to be quite an accomplished gourmet. She walked to the refrigerator and opened it wide, in awe at her well stocked shelves. She’s in the mood for a Bub BQ steak tonight.

©2015 Karina Pinella

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