2 Milk moustache

At last, it was baby Andrew’s very own day. Never mind he was two months shy of three years old and none but Aunt Kar – pronounced “care” – brought tortes or cookies or any other mouthwatering little gifts, the merry cupcakes with frosting parapets to nibble or to mush. A child might once in his life be allowed to take a colorful plastic fork and splatter viscous sugar when it’s his day!
Aunt Kar purchased a quart of whole milk early that morning. Skim milk, she opined, was not festive, for it had the color of ordinary cotton underwear that had been washed a hundred times.
Whole milk! Glorious whole milk, as snow white as the well-folded, ultra-fluffy terrycloth bath towels of her daydreams, the amenities of colossal five star hotels so far and different from home sour home. Kar made sure the expiration date was many, many days away by sorting through two entire shelves. She got the very freshest carton, not the last of the lot which supermarket stockers had moved to the front with corrupt assurance, albeit by standard FIFO practice, that most of their valued if not respected customers weren’t as scrupulous and thoughtful an auntie as she.
Kar had the happy picture in her mind of the milk moustache and cake crumbs and a lick or two of red, white, and blue frosting – the colors of the American flag, she yearned – after Andrew ate the first slice and washed it down with moo. Her angelic mother and beloved father and sweet brothers and sisters gave milk that name, once upon a time.
“Moo!” she heard in her reverie, with hope that every member of the family she belonged to now, her husband JoJo, his brothers, the grandmother, the close family friends, would “Moo!” as one voice when baby Andrew washed down the honored first slice of christening cake with a gulp of the aforementioned.
“Moo!” she daydreamed. “Moo!” She dreamed with open eyes, because she knew this family. They were the good-for-nothing Gusses, the disgraceful exception within the family dwelling ideal of Alder Avenue and Yolanda Drive. They were the shame within the city limits of San Anselmo. Reeky and ramshackle and behind in their property taxes. But for baby Andrew and, she prayed, herself, the Guss home was an abomination unto the American middle class.


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