Liverwurst and Onions

by Ruth Z Deming

Welcome to the twenty first century! Have you heard of Insta-cart? In the pandemic it's a new way of shopping. Since I'm at high risk for Covid, my boyfriend Scott either goes shopping for me or I use Insta-cart. After figuring out how to do it, I went ape-shit crazy and bought things I never would have normally bought.

You go online and it's exactly as if you're right there in the supermarket. You can pick and choose whatever you want, cancel things then and there, and really have a jolly good time while doing it. I drank my coffee - powdered coffee made in Israel - with Almond Milk and real maple syrup.

It gave me strength, I thought, possibly erroneously.

My late boyfriend Simon B. lived with me for 5 years. A Pole, he taught me many delicacies his people loved. He did mention most Poles are antisemitic, for God's sake, but for a while the two of us got along well.

He was a hoarder. I'd wanted to kick him out for ages, but, then, fortunately my grown son, Daniel, wanted to come live with me, while his new house was being fixed up.

Deal!

The best thing Simon did was teach me about liverwurst and how to eat it. With onions and tomatoes, though I added mayo and hot mustard.

What could be better than that?

Well, lemme tell you what I bought on Insta-cart.

Rotisserie chicken, which came in tiny rolls. Filled with salt, but no preservatives.

American cheese. An entire pound. Had no idea there was so much cheese. Damn good, except I can taste the preservatives.

Hold on. Lemme run downstairs and check my fridge.

"Free range eggs made from Happy Hens."

Did I tell you about my fall?

About two weeks ago, I was going downstairs in the DIM LIGHT.

I missed a step and tumbled onto the carpet, badly bruising my left ankle. I knew enough to put ice on it. Next day I called Dr Foxhall, through the health portal.

Thank God I had spent 2 hours one day getting my ID and password correct.

I had taken Motrin, an anti-inflammatory Scott gave me, but it's bad for your kidneys. I'd had a kidney transplant in 2011, courtesy of my daughter, Sarah Lynn Deming.

Foxhall told me to get Extra-Strength Tylenol. HE had to call it into CVS Willow Grove. I gave him the phone number. Then CVS called me back.

Listen, I said. Can you mail it out to me?

Nancy, my handmaiden said, Yes, if you'll be home all day.

An hour later I heard something land on my front porch. All around me were mounds of snow. Very high piles, like we had when I was growing up in the suburbs of Cleveland and thought nothing about all this snow.

Dad used to get out there and shovel, wearing a jacket with a fur-lined collar. The kids attempted to help, but it was freezing outside and we shivered unmercilessly.

We'd go inside and take off our boots in the vestibule, sometimes our socks came off, too, and we'd have hot cocoa. Wouldn't you love a cup of hot cocoa right this minute?

But I am drinking coffee, which has cooled down quite a bit.

Guess what? It's all gone, but no way am I going back downstairs.

Simon moved out and bought a new house in Bensalem, PA. He was no longer my boyfriend and bought the house without me. I knocked on his front door, which had the name of the former owner on it. Sy, as he liked to be called, didn't care about things like that. What did he care about?

His wife Kate had divorced him because he, like me, had manic-depression. Both of us stopped taking our medication. My bipolar actually went away. His did not. He had diabetes, but didn't take care of himself.

On the side of his house, he planted "flags," which meant iris. In honor of his mother, Genevieve. There were so many kids in his Catholic family. Every single one of them was named after a saint. We had discussions about Saint Augustine and Thomas Aquinas. The church followed Aquinas, I believe.

I'll never forget one night when I was looking out of my bedroom window. We were talking and I said to myself, "I will never forget this moment."

I was probably wearing my silky purple nightgown, short, which I bought when we started going together.

I told him I was writing a book about him. In the book I called him Pulaski, a nice Polish name. He didn't mind.

I did go back downstairs and poured myself another cup of java.

Looked out my kitchen window. The other day there was a fox trotting through the little woods in the back yard. And some deer - male and female both. You see them and hope you'll see them again.

Not to be.

Simon died the same way my dad did. Lung cancer that metastasized to his brain. Shimon, I called him, took longer to die than my dad.

I went to his funeral. His children and grandchildren were there. No one paid any attention to me, not even Donald Bush, who was his caretaker.

Simon told me so many stories I will never forget. He worked at Kulicke and Soffa, one of the first IT companies.

Here's to you, Simon. I lift up my Harry and Meghan coffee cup and drink to you wherever you are.

Love? We never could figure out if we loved one another or not.

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