Julia Kaminsky lives in Brooklyn, NY, and works at a non-profit organization doing grant-writing, communications, and data analysis. She graduated from Middlebury College, has lived in Argentina and El Salvador, and has performed as an aerialist with an international youth circus. Her flash fiction has appeared in the Hamilton Stone Review.
In her later years, Nana got to a point where she stopped with the sugarcoated bullshit, like losing her mind freed her to express how she really felt the whole time. We’d go visit her in the nursing home on Sundays, Mike and I. We’d go and we’d spoonfeed her applesauce—not the nursing home canned shit, I mean farmer’s market apple sauce, the good shit, the organic shit, that I got at the Thursday farmer’s market from the ruddy-face farmer man-boy who came down from upstate to sell his apple sauce special to me. Home-grown, no pesticides, half-price just for you darlin’, he’d say with a wink. See Nana, isn’t this better than the other shit they serve the rest of the week? I’d say and she’d kind of drivel it out her mouth with this little sneer like she’s doing it on purpose. I know it was the old age and all ‘cause I knew she had a lot to be thankful for, what with me, her only granddaughter trekking out from Brooklyn to the Bronx, two-hour subway ride each way, screaming babies at home with the sitter, just to feed some old lady who didn’t know a single Top 40 song on the radio, or even any of the Top 100, or if we had a republican or democratic president, or that these days it’s OK—not just OK, but expected—that pretty ladies like me work off the baby weight real fast and wear tight pants to the farmer’s market, and that away from the farm and away from the shitty diaper-filled apartment, the farmer might just get to know a thing or two about the terrain underneath those tight pants. I mean, to be honest, Nana wasn’t with it anymore, and I guess she was cranky about that. There’s this fancy seafood joint right by the nursing home, that’s one thing the Bronx has going for it, and Mike and I always figured, well if we’re gonna be all the way out here we might as well make a day of it. Before heading to Nana’s, we’d go eat lobster all excited, and each time it would turn out that lobster is a real pain in the ass, all that time spent cracking open the shell for what, a few good bites of meat, and you empty your wallet just for those few bites, when you could’ve bought a week’s worth of baby food, but no, now you just have to deal with sore droopy tits, all ‘cause of last-ditch romantic lobster dinners in some dinky restaurant on a dock with half the boards missing, so you gotta walk real careful or you might slip and fall in. Afterwards, I’d spoon the applesauce into Nana’s mouth and I’d say Nana this is way better than our dinner and I really mean that, and she’d say be quiet you shithead and get me some water to rinse this down.