Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Peanut Butter

This story just came to mind after reading a conversation on LiveJournal


I guess you could say its like allergies. Longing to be like everyone else and enjoy the things they can while knowing all the while that you have to stay away.

Like when you were a kid, and spending the night at your friend's house in your first sleepover. Everyone is there, all your best friends, and the feeling of happiness is just lifting you right off the floor. And Timmy's mom, because it what Mom's do, had so lovingly baked fresh home made peanut butter cookies. Carefully pressing that fork made grid into the top of each as they set out on the cooling racks. But no one could wait for them to cool, the smell of cookies called to the children like a siren and soon the kitchen was filled with eager hands and joyous faces. Those that had them before snatched up the biggest and best, tossing them back and forth in the air to cool the cookies enough to hold before popping them in their mouth and ending up with crumb caked lips. Others, less greedy, waited until the cookies had cooled and hardened then gingerly lifted them off the racks and savored each and every bite, letting the goodness last. And you, who had not had fresh peanut butter cookie before, took one of the ones left over and inspected it carefully before taking a few tentative bites. The taste filled your mouth and the warmth spread down to your belly. You try another bite...before the instinctive signal reaches your brain that something is wrong. The kids are all reaching for seconds as you hastily put the unfinished cookie down. You can't identify it, but while the others are clamoring in joy, you are beginning to panic in fear.

And so you learn, you are different. You don't belong. You have to be careful in a world filled with that which causes you harm. Sure, others say they understand, they can make sure you don't become exposed to peanuts or the oils. But then you find the candy with peanuts, or friends invite you out to the newest Thai place. And so you begin to hide, withdraw, feeling its not worth it. Even when you are on a plane, and everyone is enjoying their little packages of nuts, you sit huddled against the window, afraid to talk, afraid to touch, afraid of the risk involved.

Dare you risk shaking hands with the person who just had a handful of Planter's? Should you insult the friendly neighbor who brings over a family dish with Mom's secret ingredient? The world grows cold and lonely as you seek to protect yourself. Always wishing you were like everyone else. Wishing you could join them and not be afraid, free to choose anything from the menu, able to not have to ask or explain when the questions are asked. Instead, you are alone in a world that few can understand.

Yeah, something like that.

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