I woke up to a rustling sound
coming from not in my room
It took a while for reality to
kick in, not instantly but, I
also noticed a light reflected
in the window of the breakfast
room. The refrigerator was ajar
(not a pot or a plate) and kept
swaying back and forth as the
rattling sounds permeated the
silence of the dark morning.
My mind leapt to the concept
of the cat trapped upstairs, he
must be going through the
garbage, then I remembered
that cats do have a stealth
shield that they project as they
make the most terrible messes.
This sounded more like a raccoon
foraging through my kitchen
looking for his first meal in weeks.
I looked closer at the reflection and
saw a head above the refrigerator door.
‘Twas a teenage boy eating grapes
in the loudest plastic bag ever.
“Jeez, kid at least rinse the grapes.”
“No!” He said hungry and sleepy
This type of obstinant answer is common
early in the morning. “You like
eating pesticides?” I asked.
He gave me a blank look
and walked toward the sink.
He washed a handful of grapes.
“That’s the loudest bag of grapes
I’ve ever heard.” “I’m sorry,” he said
as he munched and I walked back
to bed. When he said, “no” I realized
that had I tried to stop him there was
a chance that he would have pushed
me away just so that he could keep eating.
I never come between Boy #2, the Silent Sentinel
and his food. In the morning, he may have
the equivalent of five bowls of cereal and
two 2″ high meat and mustard sandwiches
before he can be civil and communicative.
There is a circuit that shorts out
with my boys and food.
They are night eaters. Boy #3, My Child, sleepeats.
Like sleepwalking, he goes to the refrigerator
and eats large quantities of food, not like binging,
just like a teen having a growth spurt. One evening
we cooked a package of ten pork chops, by morning
all seven of the left overs were gone. When Boy #1,
Eldest Surly Reverie is in my house the chocolate syrup,
cake icing and crackers of any kind are consumed by
the hungry beast-man boy, who can have the longest
conversations about skincare, hair follicles and
the science behind hair dyeing. The three of them
could actually eat a person out of house and home.
Weekend mornings are usually punctuated by, “YOU
ATE THE WHOLE PACKAGE OF NAAN? Do you have
any idea how much that costs?” and “How many
packages of non dairy yogurt did you eat?
Couldn’t you have just eaten the hummus?” or
“Not the blueberry bagels? Of all the breads
in the freezer you ate the entire package of
blueberry bagels? C’mon kid, have you no sense of compassion for your mother and your sister? No
wonder they have a lock on the fridge at your house,
what do you do? eat the cat food instead?”
Don’t ask me if the boys have access to snacks,
they do. They have cravings in the middle of the
night like pregnant women. Their eyes get big and
they ask for things like a gallon jar of dill pickles,
or Paint Stripper Hot Nachos, or CRACKERS, all of them
like crackers like they used to like popcorn. I’m
going to have to start baking my own flat bread, and
keeping it in a cooler in my bedroom with the peanut butter. Did you know the you can get a gallon
of peanut butter for a boy who just can’t get enough.
I must have been sleeping peacefully while my brothers were
eating everything in our refrigerator. I remember going
shopping with my family and buying at least three carts
worth of food each month, mostly meat, potatoes and
canned vegetables. The glazed zombie look of the starved
teenage boy is a common occurrence, but still is a mystery