Ridgecrest, California 11/25/2010
Melvin Gayle: “What would it take for you to give up Sweet and Low (artificial sweetener)? What can I give up in exchange?”
Gayla Lorraine: (Thinks hard before she speaks) “Are you still smoking?”
Melvin Gayle: (Grimaces) “Boy, you go straight to the heart of it.”
By unspoken mutual consent, the conversation moves to another subject.
Whittier, California 11/29/2010
Text Message from Mel’s Cell 1:38 pm “Ok we have an accord.”
Cell phone conversation 2:20 pm
Gayla Lorraine: “I got your text.”
Melvin Gayle: “I’m ready. I haven’t bought cigarettes since before Thursday. I’m completely out. I’ve gone cold turkey.”
Gayla Lorraine: “It’s a deal.”
Sigh. I will miss you, Sweet and Low. I have enjoyed our friendship. You sweetened my iced tea and hot tea wonderfully for many years. I was sad when you were not around to help me out and mourned your absence until you reappeared in my kitchen and my purse. I thought your pretty pink packets were much better looking than any of the other packets of sweeteners, natural or artificial. This is not an easy decision. I have counted the cost. It is for a higher good that I bid you. . . adieu.