I’m seated at my dining room table, waking up slowly to the warm mug of coffee in my hands. Seated across from me is Lace Baba. Behind her are the shades of Knotted Baba and Black Baba.
“Cuando te despiertes, no te olvides de tomar tu medicina.”
I lifted the mug. “Bebo mi café con ancho cada mañana, Abuela Baba.” Smugly, I drank a big gulp of the warm coffee.
“Honey, she means the grits that you have been avoiding all week.” Black Baba leaned over the table, solidifying in form as she did so.
It’s true that I have had a strong desire for grits each workday morning. But I have not had the luxury of time to cook them, eat, and clean up after before headed to work. The idea of leaving dirty dishes in the sink for evening, or worse, for Dter to clean up, made me sick to my stomach.
“Grits? But that’s food…” I closed my mouth as I remembered the other conversations I’ve had with the Babas about food and medicine. “And why grits specifically? I mean… I kinda get the ancho chilies, that’s an inoculation of some type. And I get the epazote, that’s a cleanser of some type… but why grits? What’s so special about co… oh.”
Knotted Baba turned to look at me with a knowing smile as she also became more tangible in substance. All three Babas waited patiently for their recalcitrant student to admit the god damn obvious.
Someone had to say it, so it might as well be me, I (fucking) guess. I held the mug to my mouth in a vain attempt to hide the word. “Maíz.”
They smiled with smug satisfaction as I chugged the rest of the coffee. When I put the empty mug on the table, I found a bowl of grits and eggs waiting for me.
“Tú forma de cocinar es buena. Sencillo. Bueno para el cuerpo. Ayuda a resolver la mente. Alimentos y medicinas, ambos. ¿Hay realmente una diferencia entre los dos?”
Abuela Baba1 settled happily in her chair as the rhetorical question needed no comment from me to drive the lesson home. It would still be rude not to.
“Lo siento, Abuela Baba… No sé cómo decir ‘I guess not’ en español. But… I’m also dreaming… so language is not a sticking point. No, ma’am, I guess there is no difference between food and medicine. It’s all in what you take and how you take it.”
“[And why you take it.]” Knotted Baba tapped on the bowl. “[When you rise, feed your body and feed your soul. You know what maíz means to me and to [Abuela Baba]. Care for yourself and your selves.]”
I noted who was missing from the equation and turned to Black Baba. “I’m still not ready for your medicine, I take it.”
Black Baba just smiled and shook her head. The three women stood up and the dream ended.
I didn’t realize just how much I had been wanting this bowl of grits until after I finished it.
 I will be calling her by this name instead of Lace Baba from now on.