Too Much Salt in the Cookies

The cookies had too much salt. Watching her 2-year-old granddaughter push a chair over to the counter and climb onto it like it was a mountain to be scaled, the grandmother’s eyes filled with drops of salty moisture. When the little girl turned with a triumphant smile and said,
“Me want help too, Gan-ma,” the drops eased over the edge of her eyelids and slid in easy tracks down her cheeks. Before she could wipe them away, they slipped off her cheeks and splattered their saltiness into the dough. Too much salt. But as the grandmother and granddaughter shared a cookie later, she thought they tasted like sweetness itself.
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The cookies had too much salt. Watching her 8-year-old granddaughter tie on an old checkered apron with fastidious and serious precision, the grandmother’s eyes filled with drops of salty moisture. When the child turned to offer a gap-toothed grin and said,

“Let’s make them extra-chocolatey this time, Grandma,” the drops spilled over the edge of her eyelids and sped in tiny ribbons down her cheeks. She didn’t bother to wipe them away, so they dripped off her cheeks and plopped their saltiness into the dough. Too much salt. But as grandmother and granddaughter shared the cookies later, with plenty of milk and giggles, she thought they tasted like happiness itself.
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The cookies had too much salt. Watching her 16-year-old granddaughter jerk on her coat and grab the car keys, the grandmother’s eyes filled with drops of salty moisture. When the teen turned with an impatient scowl and said,

“I just don’t have time to bake stupid cookies. I have better things to do,” the drops flowed over the edge of her eyelids and tracked down her cheeks in sorrowful streaks. She wiped at them, but there were too many and as she bowed her head, they slipped off her cheeks and buried their saltiness into the dough. Too much salt. Later, as the grandmother ate a cookie by herself, she thought it tasted like disappointment itself.
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The cookies had too much salt. Watching her grandmother explain the process of cookie-making to the infant she held, the 23-year-old granddaughter’s eyes filled with drops of salty moisture. When the grandmother turned with a withered smile and said,

“This was always my favorite thing to do with you,” the drops seeped over the edge of her eyelids and slithered down her cheeks in happy rivulets. Her hands full of baby, she couldn’t wipe them away and they slipped off her cheeks and splashed their saltiness into the dough. Too much salt. But as granddaughter and grandmother shared a cookie later, she thought they tasted of memories themselves.
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The cookies had too much salt. Watching a replay of a hundred memories in her mind, the granddaughter’s eyes filled with drops of salty moisture. As she pictured her grandmother’s smile and whispered words,

“I’ll always love you,” the drops gushed over the edge of her eyelids and rushed down her cheeks in pain-filled rivers. Placing both hands on the counter, she dropped her head and let the tears streak off her cheeks and spread their saltiness into the dough. Too much salt. As the granddaughter laid a cookie on her grandmother’s grave, the taste of bitter-sweet memories filled her heart until it overflowed.

 

– S.D. Bullard

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~ by sdbullard on July 2, 2012.

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