For the carnivore,
the smell of cooked bacon is a stimulant.
It activates the salivary glands
and awakens the stomach.
Serotonin fills the brain
as the person awaits the sweet ecstasy
of crispy meat
a hint of char
and delicious warm grease.
This is true for me as well.
But it’s not the joy of eating bacon
that awakens my senses.
It’s the memories.
The smell of bacon is the smell of my grandmother’s house.
It’s breakfast on Saturday morning
with short glasses of orange juice
and buttery pancakes slathered in syrup.
It’s lying on the couch watching cartoons
and Dick Van Dyke
It’s creaky hand-me-down bicycles
the clang of the bicycle hoop
and the plop of chestnuts
dropped down the old metal tube
by the hedge in the backyard.
It’s sitting on the back porch
On sweltering summer nights
turning the crank on the ice cream machine
while Grandpa adds more salt
It’s a dusty workshop
a whirring sewing machine
and piano duets in the basement studio.
Bacon is enveloping hugs
and booming soprano laughs
the Game of Life on avocado carpets.
It’s the Mariners on TV
and roast beef on Sundays
and classical music on the record player.
Bacon is skinned knees
and thick green grass with sprinklers that go
chick chick chick whirrrr every morning.
It’s seed for birds
and bread for ducks
and worms on a hook.
It’s Folgers crystals
and tinkling spoons
and sugar cereals
and fresh-baked cookies
It’s crossword puzzles
and drives to the lake
and noon-time naps.
The place I always felt loved
Where I was free to be a child.
Steph Scott spent over a decade teaching teenagers how to write, and now she writes for them. With an MFA in Writing Young Adult Fiction, she believes all stories should have an element of hope, no matter how dark. As a queer author, Steph writes stories that champion the emotionally bruised kids and those navigating or questioning their identities. When she’s not writing, she’s searching for the perfect maple bar, and exploring the woods in flannel shirts and sensible shoes. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her spouse, their teenager, and two dogs too big for their house.