My dreams have been troubled of late. Often my brother is in them. Always with cancer, never healthy. Death is also present, too. They're not pleasant dreams. Pot pies have been on my menu a lot lately. And not just any pot pie. "They've gotta be the cheap Banquet ones," as my brother would say. And he was right. And still is right (can he still be right now that he's dead?). The banquet ones trump all. I didn't even realize I was eating them so often because of him until my mom mentioned she and my dad had some one night in honor of him.
And I think back. Why pot pies? They're some cheap frozen meal that can't possibly be real food. But wh am I addicted to them? When we first moved to Texas, I was only 9. Both parents worked and so during that first summer, my brother was forced to baby sit me. We had this ritual where we'd conjur up our lunch time meals. Iggy's Grub, we called our kitchen. Nothing fancy, always frozen or canned but it got the job done. Three meals, specifically I remember. Dinty Moore's beef stew. As we got older, we both considered this on par with dog food. It fell out of favor. Chicken Chow Mein, though, I don't remember him liking this one. How I wish I could shoot him an email and ask him. "Was that one we ate at Iggy's Grub?" Nevermore. And Banquet Chicken Pot Pies. This one stayed with both of us through our adult lives. Why, I don't know. But I remember reminiscing with him at MD Anderson about them. It's so bizarre how a 69 cent item is the cause of such pain and tears for me now. As I write this, I've got two in the oven cooking. And I'm going to eat them and remember both that summer when were kids and the time at MD Anderson. Memories are all I have of him now.