Cora Colin – Over Easy

Cora Colin

“And I hope you’re not waiting, waiting ‘round for me / Cause I’m not going anywhere, obviously / Got a broken heart and your name on my cast / And everybody’s gone at last.” – Elliott Smith, No Name No. 5

Some things are so tightly wound to others that there is no way of untangling them. One shade of deep crimson is my mother’s stepdad, who wore it in the form of a thick bathrobe, every morning at breakfast. A whiff of a specific brand of hand sanitizer takes me back to kindergarten, 2015. I smell it and my face is pressed to the grimy chain link fence, watching the older girls dance Flamenco on the blacktop below. My grandparents’ house is mothballs, succulents, and big glasses of milk.

In 2012 my brother was born and my grandparents came here, leaving behind a home nestled in the Virginian suburbs and people they’d been surrounded by for decades for the family their son had created. They settled into new city life and took on the role of caring for my brother and I while our parents worked. We probably spent more afternoons at their house than our own, and many of my childhood memories took place within it.

It’s 2017 and I’m in my grandparents kitchen. My grandpa’s calloused hands guides my own onto a can opener, gliding it through the lid of the tomato soup can. The can isn’t steady and juts out from under me. It’s the third time and I’m hungry. My grandma chides him from across the kitchen, “Let her sit down! She doesn’t need to learn now!” He positions my hands back onto the tool and this time holds the can steady. I twist and twist until a seam of crimson appears from within.