Cast Iron Dreams by Ann Earney

1 . Agree to make scrambled eggs, even though you no longer eat eggs, because your brother says you make them best and he looks like he's going to cry, and this may be the last time you'll ever be at the cabin.

2. Tear up a little yourselfwhen you get the cast-iron skillet down. Think about how many times that skillet has sat on the old gas stove, and wonder how many more times it will be there. Wonder why it is that just because your dad died, the cabin has to be sold, when he has two brothers and a sister, each with a stake in it.

3. Tell your brother how ridiculous it is that he never had children. Continue to justify your own decision not to have children. Wonder what difference that would make and why you said it. For all you know, your brother would have had children, if he'd gotten married.

4. Dig through the cabinet for a bowl large enough to stir eggs. Brush mouse poop out and wash bowl. Wonder to yourself once again if your brother is gay.

5. Remove the egg carton from the refrigerator. Look at the eggs, bought from a roadside farm, in all their size and color variation glory. Wonder how everything outside the cabin got to be so homogenized.

6. Break four eggs for your brother without asking how many he wants. Add two more in case you want some. Even if you have been a vegan for years now.

7. Scramble the eggs with water, paying attention to the odors of iron, gas and egg. From your memory, add the scents of bacon, buttered toast, coffee and cigarette smoke. Hear country music in the background on a tinny radio that isn't there anymore. Wish you had a cigarette, though you quit years ago.

8. Pour the eggs onto two plates. Watch your brother make no comment, and don't comment on what a miracle that is.

9. Liberally decorate your eggs with salt and pepper and inhale the steam.
1 0. Take one bite and realize eggs are not what you need. Realize you will have to learn to live without the cabin, without your dad, just as you learned to live without eggs. Listen to the country song in your head and wish you knew the words.


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