Friday, February 17, 2012

I ♥ B.L.T.’s

I love B.L.T.’s. Could eat one every day.
            Toasted Ezekiel Bread slathered with Duke’s mayonnaise. Piled high with arugula ‘cause iceberg does not toot my whistle. Topped with the one tomato I dissected the farmer’s market for—the chubbiest, juiciest, reddest tomato possible. I slice an inch down from the stem and take another inch or two off the bottom. I flop what remains—it’s going to be hard to get my mouth open that wide—onto the bacon stripped toast. Bacon stiff like a diving board, not flaccid.
            Before I bite I pray. Because this is a holy moment for me. See, I only eat one B.L.T.  a year. Ever since Pappy died. Not long after he passed, I was at the doctor’s. For my occasional-'cause if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it appointment.
            Dr. Davis patted the paper by my feet. “Scoot down some more.”
            I squirmed toward him. Careful to keep the exam gown tucked about me, despite the inevitable.
            Left then right he nestled my feet into the stirrups. “So what’s new?”
            I focused on the breast self exam poster. “My father-in-law died in February.”
            Dr. Davis paused. Rested a hand on my knee.
            “I’m sorry to hear that,” he said. “What happened?”
            I blinked slowly. Wondered if I’d cry. “Cancer,” I said. “Stage four. Stomach. He died 31 days after his diagnosis.”
            Dr. Davis whistled. I heard instruments clanking. Paper tearing.
            “This might be a bit chilly,” he said. It wasn’t.
            I bunched the cotton blanket in my fists, on either side of my chin.
            “What should we do?” I said “He do. My husband, I mean. So he doesn’t . . . get it.”
            “Cancer? Of the stomach?”
            I cringed. At the C word. I hate it. It’s worse than the F word.
            The K-Y'd exam instrument clattered on the stainless steel cart. Dr. Davis stripped off his latex gloves. Winced as one snapped his wrist.  He held out a hand to help me up.
            “A study came out last fall,” he said. “Was it nitrites or nitrates that are the bad guys?”
            “The stuff in hot dogs and bacon?”
            Dr. Davis nodded. “And deli meats. Pickles.”
            I tugged at the exam gown, so it covered my knees. “Bummer. I love bacon.”
            He x’d boxes on my paperwork. “You know the old saying.  Everything—”         
            I nodded. “In moderation.”
I love B.L.T.’s. Eat one every year.

Today's post is for linked-in party over at


lovemyspy said...

I really enjoyed reading this and felt your emotions. Good job!

Lindy Phippen Smith said...

Loved where you took this. You used a BLT as a vehicle to reach so much deeper. Well written.

Mary Johnson said...

What a description! Very real and I feel like I was in the room with you. What I would not give for a bit of that BLT

Jen Has A Pen said...

Such an interesting blend of stories. Food and the gynecological exam. At first, I was leary I was going to be able to connect the two in my mind, but by the end, they were perfect. You got is so right. The exam was described with perfection and her feelings and fear were evident.

writingdianet said...

Hey Gals:

Thanks so much for stopping by:) Glad you liked this piece. Please let me know if you'd tweak anything. If anything caught you up, in a bad way.

I don't know about you guys, but I'd give anything for a real, live summer tomato about now! So I could make a BLT!!!

Kir said...

I liked the dialouge, the thoughts in her head mixing with the conversation with the flowed so easily and with language that took us to that room with them

I enjoyed this very much.

Cheryl said...

I also don't know how you got in a BLT to a gynecological exam, but it worked!

I would shorten the description in the first graf. For instance, when you say "Bacon stiff like a diving board" you don't need the flaccid part, since that's redundant.

Cameron said...

Everything in moderation, indeed. Except in our imaginations, where we can built that perfect sandwich over and over, without fear for our health.

I love your descriptions of the sandwich, and I agree with Cheryl, you don't need the flaccid-phrase. It's stronger without.

TMW Hickman said...

I like how you took an annual female visit and made it into something that everyone could relate to, all with your dialogue. This was great.

Sara said...

Great description. I wanted that BLT:~) I loved how you combined the ingredients of the once a year exam, the conversation between the doctor and this woman with the "only one a year." I thought this story was perfectly done, like the bacon of a good BLT!

Savannah McQueen said...

Oh yes, a BLT is such a supreme treat. I like mine on rye.


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