How it Was Then/Shells, Thin – Tammy Journal

Essay excerpt:

Rooster Cogburn loves his ostrich. Its eggs are for sale.

You can get in to one by tapping a nail through the shell. I don’t recall that I used a nail—it could have been a corkscrew—but I blew out the raw yolk and egg white and rinsed the empty shell, placing it on a blue towel to drip by the sink. It was huge, the size of my left lung, I remember thinking, and was a creamier color than I expected, a butter egg. The counter slanted under the towel, but the egg didn’t roll or even waver. It must have been I who slanted then, lightheaded from the sustained air pressure it had taken to empty the shell, or dizzy from something more general and slower to accumulate, something in the tap water, perhaps.

We economized words then, there, weighing the air between one another with minimal talk.
Happy graduation, Corinna.
I got you an ostrich egg.
Breakfast? We can have it before stuff starts, early.
There is nothing here I could have said. This lung-sized egg, so soon broken? An exacting kind of grief would have bloomed in my throat. My friend would have seen it there, my swallow stymied, and had the kindness not to smile. Full essay in Tammy 6.

Background photo credit: Jeremy Pataky.Fonts: Canada 1500 by Ray Larabie and Adobe Jenson Pro by Robert Slimbach.
This was a Hiya, Scout! design.