Cathy Adams
Sixteen Cans of Pineapple

An excerpt…

When Kate opened the cabinet doors she saw nothing but pineapple, can after can of pineapple. She had been there the week before dropping off her mother’s dry cleaning, but she didn’t think to look in the kitchen cabinets. She held a door open in each hand, counting. “You have sixteen cans of pineapple.”

“I do?” Stella put her wooden spoon down and dipped her head toward the open cabinet. “Well, look at that.”

“What did you plan to do with all this pineapple?”

“I make Jell-O salads for the church sometimes.”

Kate took a can of pineapple in each hand. “Are you going to make sixteen Jell-O salads? You got chopped pineapple, sliced pineapple, pop-open pineapple snacks, pineapple with coconut flavoring, sixteen ounce cans, six ounce cans. Mother, you have every possible preparation of pineapple available to a grocer.” She shoved the cans back on the shelf and smacked the doors shut.

Stella gave a lost little smile. “Well, lord goodness.”

This fiction piece appears in our Fall 2013 issue (Vol. 60.1).

Cathy Adams's first novel, This Is What It Smells Like, was published by New Libri Press. Her short stories and essays have been published in Utne, Ontologica, Steel Toe Review, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Relief Journal, and elsewhere. Her writing awards include the Mona Schreiber Award for Fiction, a National League of Pen Women’s Prize, and a National Public Radio News Director’s award. A native of Alabama, she now lives and writes in Xinzheng, China.