Joseph Trance


                “Dogs up!”   There was a scramble of feet followed by squeals of delight.  Ten pairs of arms reached past him to the plate of Hebrew Nationals. 
                “Easy, kids…there is plenty for everyone. “  The best dogs were the ones that were slightly burnt, just slightly blackening the skin.  You could taste summer in those.  Those were the ones that memories of poolside splashing were embedded in, and running the bases after the ball went all the way out to score the winning homerun.  Those were the ones that contained summer sunshine and the smell of suntan lotion and ocean waves at the beach. 
                Jacobs went back to the grill as the kids lined up at the fixings table.  He took a minute to watch them squeeze on ketchup, mustard and pile on the onions and sauerkraut. He smiled as they ran to the next table filled with potato chips, Doritos and dip.  He laughed as the kids made mountains of chips and dip over the dogs.   Each child tried to pile on more than the last.  “More is better,” Jacobs whispered and shook his head.
               He turned back to the grill and carefully placed the hamburger meat.  He could fit ten burgers on at a time.  He closed his eyes as the fat from the meat dripped through the grill and the flames rose to lick it all up.  A small cloud of smoke rose from the flames and blew across Jacob’s face.  He coughed and wiped his eyes.  The smell of meat filled his nose and he breathed it in deeply. 
             Memories of past barbecues flashed through his mind.  There was the one when he was six and he had eaten two dogs and three burgers, and that plate full of potato salad…mmmmm…he could still taste the mayo on that.  But then that night he woke up with a stomach ache and his mom stayed up with him till the early morning hours.
        Then he remembered the first one he had as a teen.  That was the first one he hosted.  He hadn’t done badly on that one. He invited about ten friends including Ellen and after it was over, she stayed and helped him clean up.  He kissed her that night.  She was carrying a bunch of paper plates to the trash and she had ketchup stains on her white blouse.  He followed her to the trash.  He came up behind her.  After she threw the plates away, he spun her around to face him. She laughed as he stared into her eyes.  The light of the charcoals in the grill burned bright in them.
                           “Thanks for the help he said.”
                           “You’re welcome,”   she said.

             He moved his lips to hers.  She closed her eyes as his lips brushed hers.  She smelled of steak sauce and slightly burnt hotdogs.  He kissed her, and she moved her arms around him to hold him.   Time melted as they kissed.
“…. well done…”   Jacobs opened his eyes as he felt a tug on his belt loop.

“Can I…pleassseeee??”   Jacob turned and saw the line of kids standing behind him.
He looked at the little girl, her fingers still hanging onto his belt loop.  She looked up at him with big green eyes.
“Can I have mine well done, please?”  She asked as she pointed to the burgers.
“Oh…sure,” he said and smiled.
She smiled back.  “I really love barbecues, Mr. J,” she said.
“Aren’t they the best?”
“Yes…they really are,” he said.

All rights belong to its author. It was published on by demand of Joseph Trance.
Published on on 08/03/2014.


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