Friday, June 05, 2009

Blissful Realizations


How vividly do you remember what it felt like to wake up, just a little, very early in the morning, before the alarm, only to realize that it was Saturday?

With that realization you understood that the alarm was not set. It would not disturb you. There was no school. You didn’t have to be anywhere. You didn’t even have to get up at all if you didn’t want to.

The world was your oyster.

And with a peaceful grin on your face or in your heart (or both), you slipped back into carefree dreamland, the absolute sleep of innocents. (Or innocence, if that makes you feel better, though it is not what I intended. I’ll accommodate.)

Maybe you don’t have to remember what those Saturday mornings were like because you still experience them, with work, or school again, or whatever it is that you do that gives you relief when you realize you don’t have to do it on your day off.

I don’t think I’ve had one of those mornings in years, though, and while I recall this childhood experience vividly and fondly, I cannot say that I miss it any more than I could honestly say that I miss anything about my childhood.

It was, at times wonderful and others not so much, and now this is.

If there is an adult equivalent of that simple blissful realization for me, surely it must be what I experienced just a few minutes ago. A little set up is necessary to make the connection.

When awake, I tend to exist in one of two repeating physiological cycles: I am either thinking about eating, or I am eating. Sometimes, I confess, these two states overlap. I have been known to plot (and discuss, at length) my next meal while I’m not technically, in a literal sense, finished consuming my current meal.

(It is not lost on me that this trait occurs elsewhere in nature, and even in other mammals, though usually small, furry, excitable ones. Squirrels and chipmunks and the like. Honestly, so long as my metabolism to size ratio was comparable to my rodent counterparts, I did not mind the analogy, much, though it concerns me more now that my metabolism has slowed but my feeding cycle has not. But I’m off topic, and for that I apologize.)

Inevitably, late at night I find myself scrounging for something to eat. Not dinner, because I wouldn’t go without dinner to begin with, and chances are good that by eleven at night or so I’ve already had dinner. And second dinner.

So what I’m talking about is the proverbial midnight snack, and the requisite late night hunt for something to eat that is both satisfying and appropriate for consumption just before bed. (Let’s pretend, please, that there is such a thing.)

But frequently it is difficult to find something suitable. (And becoming more difficult as more people live under the same roof, and these people get taller and taller every year.)

Most of the time, it is impossible, and I end up falling back on some item that I knew we had all along, though I had hoped to find something better. Perhaps you are familiar with the ritual I follow: you know what is on hand and what is not, yet that knowledge doesn’t keep you from spending fifteen minutes scouring the backs of every cabinet, the refrigerator, the pantry, the freezer, then every cabinet again.

Always in vain.

Almost.

Because sometimes, so very rarely, you find something that you didn’t know was there.

Like I just did.

Something not just suitable for a midnight snack, not even just suitable and satisfying, but suitable and satisfying and exciting, too.

Something that makes you so happy that you involuntarily cry out in joy (if we can agree that by “you” I mean “I” or “me,” as appropriate), which then forces you to hesitate a moment – just long enough to attempt to convince your wife, who is halfway across the house and understandably alarmed by your outburst, that no, that wasn’t you who just squealed like a six year old girl – before gleefully devouring your find.

And with a peaceful grin on your face, or in your heart or stomach, or all three, you finish your prize and prepare to slip into carefree dreamland.


Your humble, obed’t, and satiated Serv’t,
B. Freret

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