It was more than Vince and Michael prodding me to write, yesterday George’s post was about procrastination and that uneasy feeling came over me. It was like letters, not words were beneath my skin jumping up and down trying to get out. There is so much to say but not even the letters formed words, there was not even a formed thought, only the need to take time, to focus, to express… something, to get started… to expel words, to write.
You all must think I want to write about Eva, but I don’t. I don’t know Eva. We can all imagine the white picket fence of suburbia. After all, very Sunday night, across America we laugh at the Desperate Housewives. It was in searching Eva’s friends and seeing her Aunt Doris’ profile picture that I was reminded of Astoria. Not Yuppieville, as it is today, but Astoria, how it was when I was a child growing up, visiting my Baba. My thoughts always go back to Baba.
Baba is my grandmother, a short, full-figured Yugoslavian woman from the old country with more love in her heart than could be imagined. The closest storybook character to her liking would be Tomie dePaola’s Strega Nona, and yes, I know it seems beyond belief, that I could have been so blessed to have had such a wonderful woman as my Baba in my life, but its true. And she loved me! I can still feel her hugs as if it were yesterday. It was soft and gushy in her embrace and as if that weren’t enough in that hug she would rock me side to side. The Baba hug, there’s nothing like it. And she had this fragrance I couldn’t get enough of. It was a scent I identify with love that I later discovered was Dove soap.
Eva’s grandparents Maryanne, Mr. Lopez, and their youngest daughter Doris, Eva’s Aunt lived upstairs from my Baba and Nono. My parents, Eva’s parents and many of their friends from Astoria moved out to Long Island to raise their children in the suburbs. I was a kid from the country who liked to spend weeks in the summer in the city with my Baba. I felt a lot of love in that apartment house. I felt very much at home there, even though I lived out on the island.