PLEASE PASS THE CRANBERRY SAUCE

by Izzy Lennon

Ben was surprised to see only three place settings on his grandmother’s table when he arrived for Thanksgiving dinner. He was expecting to see at least twelve. Ben soon learned that everyone else in the family had canceled on Wednesday night. The family was apparently still upset over Nana Rose’s decision to will her estate to start a scholarship in his grandfather’s memory.

“Benjamin,” she said “I can always count on you and I thank God for you. This past year has been tough. Between my broken hip, and your grandfather’s passing, I don’t know if I could have made it without you. You have always supported my decisions without ever passing judgment.” wiping her tears Nana Rose continued “I miss your grandfather so. You remind me of him so much. Especially now that you are wearing your glasses instead of contacts. Did I ever tell you about the day I met him?” she asked with a smile.

“No, Nana,” Ben said “Please tell me.” Nana Rose beamed as she told the story of how they met at the debutante ball where she was presented. “Many of the young men asked me to dance. None of them were really my cup of tea. Then I saw your grandfather in the back of the room. The glare of his eyeglasses caught my eye. I asked him to dance. Not something a lady did in those days. He was so shy, but oh, so handsome. He lacked self confidence because of his strong eyeglasses. We danced together the rest of the night. And do you know what happened?”

“What Nana?” Ben asked. “By the end of the night, he built up the confidence to ask me to be his steady girl.” Nana said “Three months later, on the day he graduated from college, he built up the confidence to ask your great grandfather for my hand in marriage. He proposed in front of my whole family. This ring has been on my finger ever since. We were married later that summer. I still love him and I miss him. I have had no regrets in my life. Your grandfather had just one regret.”

“What was that Nana?” Ben asked. Nana Rose explained “Due to his bad eyesight, he wasn’t able to serve his country in the military. He always felt bad about that. He was a great professor. He loved teaching as much as he loved his family. That’s why I want to start this scholarship. I feel he served his country through his dedication to teaching. I want to preserve his memory by providing college education to those in need.”

Then the door bell rang. Nana Rose smiled as she told Ben that it was Miles, her physical therapist. “I think you’re going to like Miles. Like your grandfather, he also reminds me of you. You are both about the same age. You both spend time at the gym. You are both handsome. You both wear eyeglasses. Also, like you, he still hasn’t found the right woman. Will you answer the door, introduce yourself, and pour yourselves some wine while I carve the turkey?”

“Hi, You must be Miles!” Ben said with a smile as opened the door. Miles smiled back as he said “Yes, I am. You must be Benjamin. Rose has told me all about you, she didn’t mention that you were spexy though.” “Everyone calls me Ben. Welcome. What’s spexy?” “Spexy!” Miles said with a chuckle “You wear glasses.” Ben laughed as he told Miles “Since fourth grade. I’m so blind without them. I used to wear contacts for years but got too much of a calcium build up. ” Miles told him that he knew what he meant, which could have gone without saying.

There was definitely some physical attraction between the two. Nana Rose was right. Both men were in their mid-thirties and stood about 6’ tall with athletic builds. Both had sandy blonde hair and big blue eyes minified behind their glasses, Both had similar glasses frames. Ben could tell that Miles’ prescription was stronger than his own. For some reason, he found that intriguing. He had never been attracted to a guy with glasses. probably because for the past 17 years he, himself, had worn contacts almost religiously.

Ben hung Miles’ coat and offered him a glass of wine. The two made some small talk about Nana Rose’s incredible progress since breaking her hip. The two soon learned that they had much more in common and sensed that they were both members of ‘the brotherhood’. These feelings were intensified when Nana Rose brought out the carved turkey and the three joined hands in prayer.

The meal was wonderful as was the conversation. Soon it was evening, the dishes were washed, and it was time for Ben and Miles to leave. Nana Rose packed up some leftovers for both men. Miles, who lives about five blocks away, had walked to Nana Rose’s. Ben offered him a ride home. Miles accepted. Nana Rose gave both men a good night hug and kiss on the cheek. She winked at Miles as they left. Miles winked back. “Benjamin, please call me when you get home,” Nana Rose said “there are lots of maniacs on the road tonight!”

Miles invited Ben in for coffee and dessert. Ben gladly accepted his invitation. Before entering the apartment, Miles apologized for the heat. His thermostat was broken and the building superintendent was out of town celebrating the holiday with his in-laws. Upon entering, Ben’s glasses immediately fogged up. Miles laughed and told him that he needed to use the anti fogging spray he has. “This stuff is great! On a typical work day, I’m in and out of the steam room and pool area a dozen times. I can’t have these RC’s fogging up on me”

“RC’s?” Ben asked with puzzled look on his face

“Growing up, my dad, was so cheap.” Miles said with a laugh “He never bought Pepsi or Coke. We always had RC Cola. So instead of calling these my Coke bottle glasses, I call them my RC’s! Get it?”

Ben pulled Miles close, put his arms around his waist and said “Not only are you sexy and spexy, you’re funny too. I like you.” “I like you too.” Miles said as he gently kissed Ben’s lips, their glasses touching each other lightly.

Miles pulled out of the hug and asked “Is it hot in here or is it just me? Ben, do you mind if I take off this turtleneck? Do you want to take off your shirt too? I’ll get us a couple of tank tops.” Ben smiled and told Miles that his suggestion would be more comfortable. Miles left the living room and returned about a minute later holding two white athletic tank tops. He was shirtless revealing his incredible washboard abs. He was also glassesless. He handed Ben a tank top and felt around on the coffee table before asking: “Did you see where I left my glasses?”

Ben told him that he had them on when he left the room. Miles returned to his bedroom and returned placing his glasses back on. As he entered the living room, Ben had just finished taking off his shirt revealing his equally incredible abs. “Thank God for these RCs!” Miles said “without them I wouldn’t be able to see that washboard. God! I feel like doing some laundry by hand!” Both men laughed and hugged. Ben then asked Miles how far he could see without his glasses.

Miles took off his glasses, handed them to Ben, and told him to try them on. “I bet I’m blinder than you!” he said with a chuckle. Ben handed his glasses to Miles as he tried on Miles’. Miles put Ben’s glasses on. Both men realized how different their prescriptions were. Ben’s glasses were -5.25 left and -5.75 right with no astigmatism. Miles’ were -8.75 left and -9.00 right with -2 diopters of cylinder in each eye. His glasses were obviously too strong for Ben. Ben’s were obviously too weak for Miles. After wearing each other’s glasses for a few minutes, they took them off each other’s face, placed them on the coffee table, and kissed passionately for about ten minutes.

Miles reached for his glasses but grabbed Ben’s instead. Without even putting them on, he said: “I know these can’t be mine. They’re way too lightweight. He then grabbed his own and put them on.

Ben remembered that he had to call Nana Rose and was going to use his cell phone. Miles told him he could use the phone in the bedroom.

RING RING

“Hello!”

“Hi Nana Rose, it’s me, Ben! I just got home.”

“Thank you for calling, Benjamin. Thank you for giving Miles a ride home. He’s a nice man. I hope you two can become good friends.”

“You’re welcome Nana. I hope so too. He’s a good guy. We exchanged phone numbers and e-mails.”

“That’s nice. Good Night Benjamin”

“Goodnight Nana Rose.”

As Nana Rose hung up the phone and looked at the caller ID [Miles—Home] she smiled as widely as she did at her debutante ball, years earlier, when she saw the glare or her future husband’s -8Rx glasses.

Ben and Miles spent the next few hours getting to know each other both intellectually and intimately. They were so sexually compatible and made love in every room of the apartment, including the dining room, where they enjoyed Nana Rose’s leftovers while licking cranberry sauce off each other’s abs. Showering in their glasses was necessary in order to clean the sticky condiment from the lenses.

In the morning, Ben cuddled up close enough, to be in focus to Miles without his glasses, and asked him to be his steady guy. Miles said yes. Both men were so thankful to have found each other. Both were also so thankful to Nana Rose who brought them together. Unfortunately, they never got to share the news of their love with her.

During the night, Nana Rose passed away in her sleep. The housekeeper found her holding the eyeglasses and cufflinks that her late husband was wearing on the day they met. The housekeeper also found an envelope with Ben’s name on it. Ben opened it to read a note—“Benjamin, Miles, may this be the first of a lifetime of Thanksgivings—Love Nana Rose”