Orange Push-ups

I stepped out of the cool, so quiet it felt monastic, drug store, into the smothering Louisiana summer afternoon heat, orange push-up in hand, which, despite my best effort to inhale it as quickly as possible, slowly melted down my pudgy thumb.  Even as my favorite afternoon treat became a small orange river running down my arm, I stopped to pick one of the large purple flowers that grew in the unkept beds on the “down the bayou” side of Chouest Drug Store.  I called them buttercups, and I loved the way they smelled.  I remember walking into the house, my grandfather Freddie, who we called “Poppie,” laughing at my sticky fingers and yellow pollen-stained nose.

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