Rations by Lauren Sweeney



by Lauren Sweeney

They told us all about the USO dance at the Benedict Club on north 15th Street, the white gardenia in her hair and the hard-gotten nylons that were such a luxury. Just as the first notes of Jimmy Dorsey’s “Tangerine” floated through the crowded hall, he asked her to dance and well, she never could resist a man in uniform. Afterward, when he bent to kiss her hand, the faint scent of garlic on her fingertips let him know he’d eat well for the rest of his life.

They never told us how later that night her precious nylons ended up torn in a heap on the bedroom floor, and less than nine months later they resigned themselves to ever after.

We had to get that story from Aunt Dorothy at the wake.