Saturday, January 14, 2006

Hollywood Dark

In the house in which I grew up, we kept all the snowboots and galoshes in a basket on the floor of the hall closet. Hats, scarves, and mittens were kept in another basket. Nobody "owned" anything; there wasn't "my" hat and "my brother's" mittens. It was all just a-jumble for anyone's taking.

In the basket with the snowboots and galoshes, which were worn over one's shoes, were bread bags. Specifically, Hollywood Dark bread bags. Hollywood Dark was a light brown bread my mother considered more nutritious than everyone else's Wonder bread. Hollywood Dark bread bags had the logos on an orange background; Hollywood Light, which we occasionally ate if the store was out of Hollywood Dark, had them on blue. Wonder bread was out of the question.

When worn with snowboots, the bags went over one's socks to keep one's feet dry inside the boots. With galoshes, bread bags went over one's shoes to make putting on the galoshes easier. We pushed the tops of the bread bags down inside our boots, because, as far as we could tell, we were the only kids who did this, this wearing of bags inside boots, and somehow we felt vaguely as if this could cause trouble.

At some point, the bread bags and communal winterwear baskets disappeared from my life without my even noticing. At some point later, Hollywood Dark also disappeared from my life, replaced by whole wheat bread from the Pepperidge Farm Outlet store. And shortly thereafter, my childhood home disappeared from my life, replaced by two houses, one my mother's, one my father's.

I've never seen Hollywood Dark bread again.

break away
phrasal verb
1. To separate or detach oneself, as from a group.
2. To move rapidly away from or ahead of a group.
3. To discontinue customary practice.
"break." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 14 . 2006.