Excerpts from the Life of Alicia and Solomon Charger
Solomon's ``Day Off''
What luck! Solomon has a day off from the gas station. He still has to work at the pizza place in the evening but time off is time off. Alicia is out with her girlfriends, so the big bison has the whole day to himself. ``Better get some homework done,'' he thinks to himself.
Solomon works on his accounting but finds his mind constantly wondering. After a while of not being able to focus, he gets up and grabs a glass of water. While pouring the glass, his eyes drift to an old book on the kitchen counter. As he stares at it, a picture of an old smiling cow with thick rimmed glasses enters his mind. He reaches for the book and opens it, the image in his head shifts to where he's looking up at the old cow. When he reaches a page labeled ``Turkish Delights'', his mind remembers a scene of him cooking with the old cow when he was a child. ``I miss you, Grandma,'' he says aloud.
Grandma Lucy had lived in many different places when she was alive. Wherever she went, she picked up a hundred recipes. The Turkish Delights came from a fancy hotel called ``The Bianca.'' She was a maid and learned it from the kitchen staff. Solomon loved these little blocks of gummy goodness. Grandma always had a bowl of them ready for him whenever he'd visit. His favorites were the ginger ones. Alicia often came with him on these visits and loved the orange ones.
``That's it,'' Solomon thought, ``I'm making them.'' After a quick run to the store for some ingredients, he started cooking. As he made them, his mind went back to the time Grandma Lucy thought him how to make the Turkish Delights. He made a huge mess of the kitchen and had to clean it all up, that was totally fun. He still remembers the ass whooping he got when he said he said he wouldn't clean it. He laughs, knowing that he deserved that. He remembers the time he and his buddies, Paul and Saul Everett, were building a club house and Grandma cut the wood. When they asked her why, she said, ``Cause your grandpas and your daddies are off hunting and your mommas don't know shit about using no saw. That's why they still in the kitchen. Don't tell them I said that.''
Solomon still could not believe that with all the things Grandma Lucy could do, she couldn't fight cancer. It all started his junior year of high school. He heard about it when he came home from his first day of classes. He spent every weekend going to the hospital to see her. It pained him to see the strongest woman he knew withering away before his eyes. His heart broke when, the week before his senior year, she died.
Grandma Lucy's death made Solomon realize that you never know when those you love will go. So, he bought a ring and proposed to Alicia on the first day of school. It took them and their families most of the school year to plan the wedding and they found themselves married the day they graduated. The held the wedding in the morning, the reception went on until noon, they quickly changed into their graduation robes, went to the football stadium for the graduation ceremony.
The Turkish Delights were set and Solomon cut them into cubes then tossed them in powered sugar to keep them from sticking to his fingers. He popped one in his mouth and they were perfect. He put them all in a bowl, set them on the coffee table, called his Grandpa Longhoof, grabbed a photo album, and spent the rest of his free time remembering Grandma Lucy with Grandpa Longhoof.
Alicia got home a little late and Solomon had already gone to work at the pizza place. She and her friends; Betty, Cathy, and Maria decided to hang out until he got back. ``Hey, what's that,'' asked Betty pointing to the bowl of Turkish Delights. ``Those are Turkish Delights,'' said Alicia, ``Solomon must have made them.'' Cathy takes one and takes a bite. ``Ooo, these are good,'' she said, ``You have got to try these.'' Maria looks at the open photo album. ``Looks like he was exploring some old memories,'' she said. ``Probably his grandma,'' said Alicia, ``She taught him how to make these. Hey, Girls, can you give me an orange one? I'd get it myself, but you know... No arms...'' Betty pops a green one in Alicia's mouth. ``Mmmm. Orange is my favorite,'' Alicia said.
Later that night, Solomon came in to see his beautiful stumpy wife passed out in her wheelchair with her friends passed out on the couch. The bowl of candies is empty and the tv is on. He gives Betty, Cathy, and Maria a little shake. They wake and Solomon quietly escorts them out. He unbuckles the sleeping ebony sow that is Alicia and gently carries her to bed.