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We’re on Fall break this week and Peter’s favorite aunt - Lita - is visiting. Lita’s a tall, slim woman (eek! A guess), in her early sixties. She’s nicely weathered and tan. I’m sure she once had Peter’s blue-black hair but now it’s mostly white and styled in a loose braid. I think she rocks the coastal grandma aesthetic with a wardrobe of mostly pale tans, whites and flats. Peter has all kinds of stories about her - she’s a character. When Peter was 5, on Halloween, Lita pretended to sacrifice a chicken, cackling, like a witch. He was wide-eyed until she admitted she was just making fried chicken for dinner. Lita lives on property adjacent to Peter’s parents, but hers is larger, more of a farm, where she raises chickens and grows Meyer-lemons and persimmons. This may explain why Peter slices up lemons, dips them in sugar and eats them like oranges (I shiver). Peter told me that Lita always liked fruit, which is why she bought Apple stock in 1997. From what I’ve learned, talking to Lita, she practically raised Peter’s dad (David). Their parents had a boy before her, an older brother she doesn’t remember meeting because he drowned at a church outing when she was a toddler. Their parents, in their grief, had turned in on themselves, becoming as self-centered as gyroscopes. They’d left Lita by herself for weeks at a time, to raise herself on a more-or-less trial-and-error basis. So, when David came along 13 years later, he became her responsibility. She started working as an auto mechanic and eventually opened a couple of shops of her own. She describes herself as more well-read than formally educated - as if knowledge had just settled on her, like dust from an old library. “Teressa (Peter’s mom) is very curious about you,” Lita confides to me as we huddle together over venti pumpkin lattes, “Peter’s very tight-lipped where you’re concerned.” “He is?” I ask, confused, “maybe he’s ashamed,” I venture, “or maybe he’s planning to dump me?” Lita looks amused, ”uh huh, that’s probably IT,” she agrees. “Look! I say excitedly, pulling an envelope from my purse, “It’s my first-ever paycheck,” I beam. I make a production of opening the thing, like an Oscar envelope. “$223,” I read, shaking my head in admiration, then adding, with sincere sounding hyperbole, ”he can’t dump me NOW, I’m RICH!”

Copyright © | Year Posted 2022

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Date: 10/23/2022 11:04:00 AM
Best last line ever! Aloha!
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Anais vionet
Date: 10/23/2022 12:07:00 PM
Thanks, Aloha Rico!