The family and I yet again traveled down to Wichita Falls, Texas simply because they have a Target and we don't. Like any other car trip with my Lita, it involved her claiming that she had never traveled on this road with us before, claiming songs like Boom Boom Pow were from the 80's, and listening to her say "I picked cotton in that field right there mijo" after we passed any patch of land without trees. I laugh, but maybe she just picked a lot of cotton... who knows... she certainly doesn't.
Anyway, we went to Bill's Catfish in Waurika, a little catfish place that doesn't feel that it needs a sign saying who or what they are because anyone who goes there already knows who and what it is. I guess you don't have to advertise as much when your town population can only choose between you and Sonic. Anyway, the place has one of those signs that say: "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone!"
Naturally, I begin to wonder just who they would deny service to. I guess it is a small town in Oklahoma, and I guess you could be a minority, but still... we're Mexican and we got "service". So on what grounds do they deny someone? Does someone just walk in and the cashier just says "Oh hell no" and tells them to turn around and leave? I thought about it for a long time, then ultimately decided that they must be racist and today was just our lucky day.
After eating, we continued on to Wichita Falls. On the way, Lita tells us that she can't remember a certain part of her life and she's not sure which part it is. She says she lost it during the heart surgery where they gave her a pig's valve.
"Well you remember taking us everywhere when we were little, right Lita?" I ask.
"Oh you mean you, Alex, and the cousins?" She replies with more Mexican phlegm in her voice than ever.
"You don't remember it at all?"
"....taking us to Texas, eating fried chicken every day, tortillas, longhorn cheese, the old van, picking pecans from public parks?!"
"Nope. But that stuff I don't wanna remember mijo I'm talking about how I forgot other important things."
It was a sucker punch, not only did this woman completely toss out any memories of me during my childhood but she chose to forget that part. The same woman who is completely excited to recall the days when she picked cotton would rather not go through the trouble of trying to recall my adorable toddler years.
"But you remember picking cotton, huh?" I say in a defeated tone.
"Oh yes, yes, yes, mijo that's the kind of stuff you remember. Ohhh it was so much fun, me and the kids picking cotton. See that field over there? I picked cotton right there."
I gave up, secretely hoping that if it was indeed her pig valve that removed all memory of her practically raising me then it also replaced those memories with the pig's memories... like hearing a dinner bell and rushing to the feeding trough for slop.
There was a long silence.
"See now mijo everywhere I go is like doing something I already did for the first time."