I need a break from Tag and will offer two flash pieces as respite.
The first is Grandpa’s Pasta Sauce, written spur-of-the-moment for a class I took on creative non-fiction writing. We were given five minutes to come up with something based on a real event and humanize it. I read this piece when called upon and the teacher wanted to know if I really just made it up on the spot or had worked on it long and hard and offered it for comment.
Her specific question was, “Are you really that good or is that something you’ve been working on for a while?”
I offered it was just a good day for me.
This demurecation upset Susan greatly. “Why can’t you own you’re a good writer?”
That honest, simple question set off a storm of self-analysis, all to the good.
But you tell me what you think.
Grandpa cooked pasta sauce so hot your eyes watered when you walked into his kitchen. His fingers reddened as he crushed dried red peppers into the sizzling olive oil, the garlic, onions, and green pepper already skittling across the cast iron pan.
Next came tomato paste. A whole can that he practically cracked open like an egg because he’d been a dirt farmer all of his life and his forearms were veined like rivers running to the sea and his hands calloused like the earth itself after a dry summer’s harvest.
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