When can I have a warm meal and a cigarette?

May 9, 2006
This is the question my grandma asks the doctor while she is in the hospital. Though her smoking for so long makes us all a bit uneasy, her asking for food and cigarettes keeps a sense of normalcy and a forecast that everything' is going to be alllrigght. I mean she had just came to visit me the week before I left school and a few weeks later she is in pain at home, finally goes to the hospital after my aunts (my dad's sisters) beg her to go and she is sure her doctor is in, gives him and all his colleagues hell, and goes on to prescribe her own treatment on what she will and wont do. See they really should have named me Naomi after her . . .
I found all this out at the Piccadillys at South Dekalb at dinner. My dad's Uncle - the one who is a preacher and thinks he is so cool with his belt to the side and his new wife in NC - invited me, my mom, my aunt Gloria, who is a lawyer who just moved back to the city and who's Peachtree apartment I wish were mine, and his nephew, a balding young guy. I had drove over from seeing my friend Shuntia in the hospital after having a C-section. She was so ready to go home and I wish there was something I could do for her. Her fiance' came when I was about to go and I was happy to see he was so excited about their baby, though his friend with the fro puff was let down easy:). Just like black folk, he was trying to convince her to order a extra pizza for dinner so him and his friend could eat. even if it is pizza, its still hospital food . . .and somebody has to pay for that overpriced food.
Dinner with the family was hilarious. My Aunt Sug, as we call her, was happy at the server's mistake to bring her two orders of okra. My Uncle Jasper, who lives alone since his wife lives in Charlotte, was loving the spotlight of sitting at the edge of the table and telling a story of grover and lamont from Sanford and Sons. While laughing and talking I see a guy I went to high school with come in and he is looking pretty good. I was happy that my aunt and great-uncle got to see how my mom can sometimes be so unfreakin-cool as she acted like a deer in the headlights when getting her bread for me - just say Spanish cornbread!
After laughing and eating for the longest (my broccoli and rice dish and carrot souffle were on point) we finally get in line to check out. I go say hey to my high school buddy John, who now goes by JE, and we hug and chat. He seems sort of glad to see me and says that we have to hang and that he will facebook me.