"Juice #2" by Nadia Wolnisty

 

Now is a good time to tell you about grape juice. You know you're at a weird stage of your adult life when you feel too impure for grape juice. Let me explain. When I think of grape juice, I think of two things. The first is childhood. When we were kids, my mom would make my sisters and me grape juice from concentrate and mix it with a big wooden spoon. Red grape. But white if we were feeling fancy. Sticky lips. Our first terrible lipstick. A blood-purple smear. We would always make her make it, even though it's simple enough for a kid. I think it made us feel loved. And she did love me when I was easy to love –– a dopey kid who loved to read, back before puberty (cotton underwear smeared purple-red) and before asking too many questions. The second thing about grape juice is it makes me think of wine. We were Catholics, so we didn't fuck around. We practiced with grape juice, though. Practiced being a vessel for our Lord of Love. Today, my boyfriend made himself grape juice from concentrate when I was about to drive home, because, hey, that shit is good. I said I wasn't thirsty and left. I cried a little driving home. I miss my mom. She was manipulative, told me her suicide attempt was my fault, and disowned me. And I miss her. I miss going to Mass on All Souls' Day and the comfort in the feeling of a certain fate. Juice.