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October 15th, 2010

How I Failed My Grandfather


19 Sugar Cookies I Failed To Eat All Of | 10/10/10

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I had never stayed by myself with my grandfather before. He was baby-sitting me. My brother, my parents and my grandmother were all out. There was a small kitchen that had a bank teller like opening to the living room where I was watching TV. My grandfather called me into the kitchen where he was sitting as he did at the black kitchen table wearing just his white undershirt and black pants. He always sat in the chair that let him look through that opening at the TV. We were watching game shows, one show had a wheel.

He told me to get the chips from the cupboard. I did. Then he told me to get the pretzels. I did. Then the bread, the lunch meat, the soda and on it went, item after item. I got them all then sat down. He made me a sandwich and we ate together sitting there at the black kitchen table watching the wheel on TV through our window.

All the sudden as I was finishing my sandwich, he froze and then I heard it too. There was a car in the driveway outside. He started handing me item by item and telling me to rush, getting each back in its place as fast as I could. He saw the confused look in my face and told me that everyone had returned to pick us up and take us out to dinner. They cannot know we just ate. Just as I got the last item back, everyone walked in. My grandfather really liked to eat.


At dinner my dad kept asking me why I wasn’t eating. I didn’t tell him why until right now and this was likely one of my best kept secrets.

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I was at a store whose logo looks like a wheel, I found a tray of cookies that looked like a wheel and I had found a portrait of my grandfather from the food store he managed packed away in a lonely place a short time before. Once I had the idea, the desire, I had to try. I returned, I bought the cookies, I waited 24 hours without eating anything at all, I sat down and I tried to eat each and every one. I did this in the home of my grandfather’s widow. I failed this test and my ability to keep his secret. It feels different then I thought it would. When I ate my last orange cookie, I walked to my green couch and pretended to sleep in the orange light. I could not do that either but knew it needed to be done.