The rumbling started deep in my middle, and tumbled its way through my body, distracting me. I ignored it for a while, then it grew more insistent.
As I struggled with the snail’s pace of the reader on the audiobook I’m listening to, I got hungry. It had been about 7 hours since dinner and I was still awake. I couldn’t take it anymore. I needed to throw something down my throat to silence that gaping maw in my enormous gut.
My beloved was kind enough to let me have use of her portable disc player. We got a few years back, when she wanted to hear her CDs while putzing around the house, and not having to crank the volume so all of us have to hear the caterwauling of Aerosmith. I thought it was a nice gesture, then and now. So I thanked her, and set the device up. We cleaned it, changed the batteries, and tested it. After some fussing, it worked.
The rumble forced me to my feet. I shuffled off to make a quick PB&J.
I set the CD player on the counter, hearing the story unfold line by line in my head, and except for being someone else’s voice, it seemed very like having one of my own stories start to unravel. I listened, enjoyed, and pulled the bread and peanut butter from the cabinet. I laid it on the bread, still listening, pausing in my task to catch the words as they rolled through my skull.
I opened the refrigerator and stretched for the jelly. I lathered it on, licked the knife clean and dropped it into the boneyard with the rest of the ghosts of dinners past. I lidded the peanut butter, the jelly and put the warm items back into the cabinet. I let the door slap closed, then turned, opened the fridge again and stepped forward with the jelly in my hand.
A deafening crash and sudden silence in my head told me I’d made a fatal error.
And all the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty together again.
I’m sorry, love.
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