This pull from Inturei’s site reminds me of my own shrimp memory:



My last memory of him includes some hazy details about a stormy night in Houston. He was six years old; I was nine. I was wearing a shirt-and-shorts set that featured magenta flowers and bright green leaves. He was crying. A scrawny kid with spiky black hair, crying. Tugging on his mom’s leg. The air was thick with rain, the lightning illuminating the dark skies. A plate of raw shrimp was on the kitchen table. Nearby sat a small container of cocktail sauce.

I was also about nine years old, maybe twelve, and my cousins and I were visiting my grandparents in Savanah. Huge dock-bought shrimp were always the highlight of visits there, and we took turns dipping them in fresh drawn butter. My grandmother got a phone call. Her father had died that night. The table was very quiet, and it was apparent that she was very, very sad, although she never cried. We ate the shrimp in silence as I tried to recall my great-grandfather. He kept mistaking me for my brother, even though he was five years older than me. I couldn’t understand how he could mix up a five year old girl and a ten year old boy. It was many, many years before the taste and smell of fresh shrimp with butter stopped reminding me of that night.