Aimee Bender

“My mouth- always so active, alert- could now generally identify forty of fifty states in the produce or meat I ate. I had taken to tracking those more distant elements on my plate, and each night, at dinner, a U.S. map would float up in my mind as I chewed and I'd use it to follow the nuances in the parsley sprig, the orange wedge, and the baked potato to Florida, California, and Kansas, respectively. I could sometimes trace eggs to the county. All the while, listening to my mother talk about carpentry, or spanking the bottle of catsup. It was a good game for me, because even though it did command some of my attention, it also distracted me from the much louder and more difficult influence of the mood of the food maker, which ran the gamut. I could be half aware of the conversation, cutting up the meat, and the rest of the time I was driving truck routes through the highways of America, truck beds full of yellow onions. When I went to the supermarket with my mother I double-checked all my answers, and by the time I was twelve, I could distinguish an orange slice from California from an orange slice from Florida in under five seconds because California's was rounder-tasting, due to the desert ground and the clear tangy water of far-flung irrigation.”


Aimee Bender, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
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The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
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