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Speakeasy

"Your granny was... what do yall kids call it... Fine. When she walked into a room, by golly, she could shush the crowd. And she was all mine".

Poppa never spoke much about Granny since she died. But today, as we rummaged through boxes for donations and heirlooms, Poppa was taken back to the 80s. Each box was adorned with vibrant colors and ridiculous patterns.

"She was a fox. She wore bright red lipstick, fake nails with rhinestones. Nobody had those yet. And while the other girls popped gum and swooshed their side ponytails, your granny rolled a joint at the speakeasy with a shot of whiskey by her side. That spot was far out. The speakeasy was a hole in the wall. Nothing on the outside could tell you what went on down there. You see, you had to go down a set of stairs to get to the door. The first thing that hit you when you opened it was an overpowering smell of dope and beer. I always spotted your Granny. She kept her hair in a dainty afro," Poppa chuckled. "She was skinny as a rail, too. Walking around looking like a spoon. haha. But that's cause she didn't have a man like me to thicken her up, yet."

"What do you mean yet, Poppa." I asked.

"Well we weren't always fond of each other. I had to chase her down one day at the town fair. It was just up the road there... where they got that new money place. You know?"

"The Quick Cash and Go?"

"Yeah," Poppa recalled. "That's the one. That fair became our annual event. Seventeen years we went there. Seventeen years before they tore it down… for a money spot!"

I looked at him. "You chased her down? To ask her out?"

He sighed. "Yes, and no. I did want her to come with me to the high school ball, but she was just as feisty as she was foxy."

The town had only one high school, so it was a no-brainer where they went. In fact, Morris Brown High School was one of the few places that remained the same in this modernized town. The old brick building still stood tall on its foundation, and even the original smell of books, chalkboards, and oiled floors hadn't changed one bit. Behind the school, the football field sat. It had been upgraded with new turf and an actual scoreboard. Poppa once ran track there as a hurdler.

"She kissed me right back yonder, behind the school building. We would spend hours on those bleachers. Hard to go there now, with all the rock and roll music and kids in black smoking their cancer sticks. BLAH!" Poppa finished in frustration.

"That there is my track jacket. Granny wore it every day once we got together". Poppa's face began welling up.

"Let's take a break, okay?" I said, knowing how much he really loved Granny. We walked to the porch, Poppa taking the rocking chair and I, the cushioned wicker couch. I imagined Poppa was fantasizing about those years in the front with Granny. As a smile crept onto his face, I could hear him mumble, "Just like this. Just like this"

I knew exactly what he was thinking, at that moment. But, in reality, I couldn't help but wonder if he would ever let Granny go.


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