And don’t be slowing me down.
Rain, Saturday morning, the gentle prattle of drops on a trailer’s roof. Slowed us down some, getting out the door. Not that it mattered. The darling little Virgo at the Pastry Chef fronted us some extra pastries to help us make it through the day.

My friend Grace, I’m staying in their trailer for the weekend - which is a another story unto itself - lost her brother a year ago. At the request of the family, perhaps guided by the brother’s voice, there was gathering. I’m a friend of the family, so I’m an outsider, but I’m also, to a certain extent, regarded as familia, too. So it was no problem to go to the party.

The rain abated, and the clouds crowned the Franklin Mountains while we gathered at the graveyard. Words were said, candle lit, balloons loosed, a quiet fell on the crowd. Then it was party time.

Per the supernatural request, there was a grand feast laid out at his house. There was brisket, pork ribs, various salads, and then, this amazing queso. Cheese dip. Whatever you want to call it. It was piquant, roasting hot, and yet, not too hot. Just enough fire to thoroughly satisfy. I was helping in the kitchen myself, mostly just helping myself, when I asked who made the queso.

“I did,” said one of member of the extended family.

“Kramer: she’s married. To my brother. And he’s big,” the widow reminded me. Sternly.

“What’s the secret?” I asked.

“It’s just queso and salsa,” the cook explained, “and the secret is,” then she looked at me, “and if I told you, then it wouldn’t be secret.”

A little while later, I was in the backyard. There was the patriarch of the family, and I watched, an older hispanic man. He would pull a can of beer from the cooler, then reach into his the pocket of khaki’s, pull out a small shaker of salt, tap a small amount into the can’s opening, and then sit back and drink his beer.

His younger brother brother came up to me, smiling, “Kramer, right? Hey, you have money?”

“Me? I don’t think so, that’s why I’m here this weekend for work.” I smiled in the cool evening.

“Too bad, you know, if you had money, I’d let you marry my wife.” A broad smile played across his face.

It was a good party. I’m still trying to determine, though, what the religious affiliations were. Which ones were Protestant, and what religion corresponded to what dishes. Baptist, weren’t they the covered casserole group? Methodist, that’s the dessert group, right? I never could make the distinctions. But the queso, and the salsa, that was the best.

Laeti edimus qui nos subigant!


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