Muffins or Death!
Restructuring ones self for mere survival
By Mark William Darus.
She awakens beneath comfy blankets, mind drifting from dreamland to cold shadows dancing across her first floor bedroom apartments walls. Her eyes slowly open, attempting to adjust, give place, take in.
Inhaling a huge amount of air, her large body’s muscles go to their limit. Heels, pressing firmly below them against cotton sheets,moving, strolling outward. Flabby arms reaching away from body, heavy shoulders constricting, lower back attempting to arch.
The smell of blueberry muffins fills her nostrils.
She begins to salivate, spit filling her mouth like that of Pavlov’s dogs. Fighting it, grabbing a towel, wiping it off.
Finishing a painful stretch.
A simple stretch most of us take for granted with each and every awakening we have.
Yet for others, this brings a pain many of us will never know.
She greets her daughter who had made the muffins.
“Go-ood, m-morning, Sh-Shauna,” she stammered, not fully awake, yet very hungry.
“Good morning, Mum! You look well today!” the child of 17 said to her mother in clear voice.
The two bedroom, 900 sq foot apartment was filled with the scent of blueberry muffins. Each and every crevice spoke of eating, flat white walls dripping blueberries like gore in a slasher film, perhaps with a circus clown adding some real butter across muffin peaks for fuller flavor.
Torture filling every member, every muscle, every joint of her body as she takes every slow step further. Familiar longings tugging her in directions of a half century of memories of cooking.
Her moms breakfast scents filling the upstairs hallway. Food being ready as she traveled down the stairway with its cigarette smoke stained walls. With each step down, her nose taking in if it be eggs and bacon, potatoes and eggs, pancakes, toast or French toast, oatmeal or Cream of Wheat. The stench of Maxim instant coffee and L&M cigarettes crushes her when entering the kitchen. This bothered her immensely, but didn’t curb other things.
She devoured all that was before her. Sometimes reaching to others plates when they hesitated.
Dinner time came to her not soon enough. She had accomplished her junior high school homework quickly and happily. Her mind, thinking of singing chorus and the joy that brought her, as well as her studies, wanting to be a history teacher.
Dinner would come, either from her mother or grandmother, Jenny whom lived across the porch. Her father had heart disease and gone through countless heart attacks (losing track after his thirteenth one, two heart surgeries in the early to mid 1970’s) so cooking often was divided as families back when willingly/happily shared responsibilities of the simple human carings. >intrusion by the author here: Back when, people truly loved and cared for family. I have my doubts that this still exists today in White American Society<.
Her grandmother, Jenny made huge meals. Jenny was a survivor of the American Great Depression, much like her fathers grandmother of Ukrainian descent, believing a simple truth of her life: Eat as much as you can when you can! You could be without for a long time in between.
In absence of her mom, Jenny stepped up to the mound, ready to throw fierce fast balls and mesmerizing curve balls to keep her family fed regardless of circumstance.
Jenny Sturdivant was an amazing cook.
Full course meals in fact. Salad, vegetables highly buttered, walking toward meat! Be it chicken, pork or cow, this lady did always heave her best out each and ever day. Mashed potatoes slathered in the thickest of butter. There were always some form of cookies or desert afterward. Always.
“Eat! Eat! Eat up!” Jenny would say taking a swig of a liquid.
Her other grandma (100 percent Ukrianian) would merely have her sons and grandchildren leave her home with pirogee well into 80 plus year of life. She made both potato and Sauer kraut. Creating them over her six day week endlessly She would also give them a quarter gallon of pure butter cooked with sweet onions, simmered slowly over an hour. Wanting, driven, she created culinary feats few could match with either both quantity nor quality. And to think she tossed her product into an old clawed porcelain bathtub for her children to dig in and share her creation with their families.
I ask you.
How fucking cool is that?
So sad to think this type of thing has died over the decades in the United States.
Nightmares now fill the mind with arteries clogging like that of kitchen basin overloaded with bacon grease. A once two inch span cut to a half inch width. Heart pumping, labored, chugging.
Abrupt, harshest of roundabouts swings you sideways to thoughts beyond, yet backward further.
Corrective surgery needed as knees lose ability, ankles give up and a life of more than 5 years seems impossible as her will turns sideways. Thinking of this 2 years ago, she entertained a journey into a mine field of her desires.
Her personal darkest moments of what is important to her. Her son. Wanting to see him graduate high school, college. Fall in love and feel hurt. A parent like most: Want to see the best for their children,
Mind scrambling too and fro, Fighting denial, struggling, sweating feverish apparitions, thirsty.
Yes, she must be thirsty for water.
The thirst for water is a given instinct with us.
We all spent the first nine months of our lives in water, didn’t most of us?
“are your friends going to over all daY” she asks, a voice now strong.
“Yes, Mum.” he child said softly.
She, a mere two weeks before had gastric bypass surgery, looks to her child.
She pauses for a moment to think on the coldness of her thoughts, reflects on her life, and asks: “are they going to stay til tomorrow?”
Her cat cries about an empty water bowl behind her as she opens the drapes of her living room. Her dilated blue eyes cause a crashing of light as she takes in the splendor of another day.
Reverse and set your mind at ease like an Orwellian story where time does what it does. Her mind smashes about violently from past things to her childhood, memory of being married, of still births and the triumph of her childs birth.
“Count backward from 9. 8 , se------vin. si…” the surgical god of tranquility spoke to her as the music of the surgical theatre played out at the surgeons request while he performs his job. Asking a nurse for the proper tool….
“9-8-sevvvvvvin……” dreamland awakens to her. Drug induced slumber create oher wondrous ties of possible futures as her physical body goes numb to the profoundest of intrusions bringing peace legally.
Surgeons cut her belly from points A to B.
Flesh opened. Masked eyes peering into her body as others looked at it in High
Definition, latex covered blue fingers dig into her with surgical steel clamps, dividers and dive into like Greg Lugginis with precise precession mating.
She is smiling sincerely. She has lost 18 lbs in two weeks according to her doctor in his stuffy office space and the antiseptic smelly corridor of its scale.
“Your friends being over is fine.” she says.
I can take it. I really can with what they want to eat and I can’t.
I have no other purpose for food but to simply keep me alive.
There’s a time and a place to die, and this ain’t!
She struggles onward. No good things comes without pain. Think me wrong, as a woman about childbirth!
A better song springs to her mind.
She runs with it...
as her mind and body....
begin to sing and dance as she grows and grows.
Mark William Darus. 07302013
Thanks to a strong individual that granted me the right to write this.
I was the sad idiot that pissed off many and didn't eat more. Mother, grandmothers, friends parents. It didn't bother me in the slightest as I offended then as they heaped food to plate and me telling them no. Needless to say, I was not popular at many homes, yet found this amusing over decades.