Every Donut Not Eaten (missing pieces)
For every donut not eaten, there is a part of me that will never materialize. I am learning this at sixty. I’m not an old sixty. I am a bit chonky, as the kids say about cats these days. And yes, I’ve got way too many cats on my Facebook feed. It’s obviously my fault. Laser cats back at the dawn of the internet are responsible. Oh and that silly “I Haz Cheeseburger” meme. That was hilarious. But that’s not what’s missing.
I learned to eat when I was sad. I was taught to eat when I was happy. I was raised on delicious Southern cooking by my mom, the quintessential round mom/cook. She’s left the planet, but the hole in my stomach still craves her roast beef, her carnitas with orange juice, and her fried okra. There’s always a large wake left behind when our parents die. My dad, however, who died when I was twenty-one, barely drew water, he was such a bastard. The waves of his passing became tsunamis inside each of his four children’s troubled hearts.
When an asshole parent dies we are relieved. Later, it dawns on us how much of our lives were missed, how much of our father’s love, for example, was never realized. A bit like the donut. I try to fill some of those missing pieces of my father’s love, and now my mother’s love, with a sweet treat. Now, to be honest, my sweet tooth is laser-focused on ice cream. I hear my dad’s dad was really an ice cream lover. Turns out, alcoholics are really craving sugar. My grandfather got his sugar high from sugar. My dad, from Cutty Sark.
Today and yesterday I said no to the donuts in my day. Today, it’s raining, and I’m not so sure my willpower and caffeine level will stay steady all day. It’s Friday. Today’s tennis cardio workout will probably be canceled, though the guy in the office at the public courts says, “They’re dry right now.” The weather app shows showers all morning.
Letting go of donuts and treats during the day is easier when I have a focus. But mainly, it’s a mood thing. In my life, I learned that sugar was the ultimate mood adjuster. Feeling sad, how about a pint of Ben and Jerry’s? Need to celebrate a promotion or the birth of a child, ice cream and cake. Like some people who celebrate with drinks, due to my father’s abusive exit from the planet, we celebrated with sugar and not alcohol. Same effect. 90% of my family is fat.
I was born with love handles, chances are I’ll die with them too. That’s okay. Now, what’s for breakfast on this rainy Friday? What will I become today? Or rather, what will become me?
*my great great grandfather, Walter Oakley, near Galveston, TX
Read more Short-Short Stories from John.