January 21, 2009
The last time she visited, she was already sick. When she left, I walked around my house in a daze, inhaling the smells. In the kitchen, the odors from the supper she’d insisted on making the night before: salty grease from the fried chicken and okra, sticky sweetness from the strawberries and marshmallow yams. In the bathroom, the clean tang of her Avon astringent and body cream. And in the guest room, the vaguely floral smell that must have been her perfume, but seemed like the very scent of her.
Her name was Minnie Louise, a small-town Arkansas gal, but I called her Minna, because she thought it sounded French,...