She skipped town for the weekend and left a Tupperware container on the counter filled with chocolate chip cookies. She had stayed up late one night baking them, clanging baking sheet after clanging baking sheet I heard downstairs at an unusual hour, said it was really only a recipe from the back of the chocolate chip bag, but she used the heavy mixer and everything. I always thought I might use one of those when I’m married, someday. (She said the same of my kimchi pork chops recipe from a home delivery box with step-by-step instructions, of which she said she would learn to cook when she was married, and that I was very brave.)
Well, those cookies spoke to me. It didn’t sound like the Cookie Monster with his cookie jar. Maybe I’m not remembering the voice right, as much of my childhood memories are a mixing bowl of mushy dough, but I think it’s a dopey voice that’s a little evil and ravenous.
No, this sounded much sweeter than that, a soothing voice like chamomile tea with honey sliding down an aching throat. Or, just a spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down. (Cue the umbrella.) Those cookies told me that I needed just one more.
They were even so bold as to convince me that they would make everything feel better. All the pain would stop for the .2 seconds that it took for the sugar to rush to my brain, to send those shocking waves that remind you there is pleasure left to taste in this world.
She came home and noticed the missing container, now tumbling in the old dishwasher that likes to eat containers. “You must have liked those cookies,” she said.
“Oh, yes,” I replied, feeling my cheeks get a little rosy. “Thank you for sharing.” (She had said the container was for me before she left, so I’m not quite a thief.)
But I couldn’t tell her that those cookies gave me hope for living for three days, that they saved me. They wanted me. They invited me in with the sweetest song. They filled me with joy, if even for the .2 seconds of sugar waltzing on my taste buds. They were there for me.
You see, if I told her all this, that the cookies, they get me, well, she might think I’m losing it.
It just so happens that I recently misplaced my mind. So I went looking for it in the cookie container, then in the bottom of my messy bag with a purse inside that I can’t ever find. (The dark abyss of a woman’s purse, they say. I have a purse in a purse, so what do they say of that?) I dumped that thing upside down on the stained carpet; flying Lara Bar wrappers, orange Motrin pills, crumpled receipts and unpaid bills, thank yous from pregnant friends. But my mind was nowhere to be found. It might be gone forever, I don’t know.
Weird things just keep happening. I lose it, I find it, I lose it again. Repeat repeat repeat. Just the other day, someone told me I made a mistake (I never make mistakes) and I wanted to shout itwasastylechoice from the top of my kitchen counter with five cookies in my grip and chocolate on the corners of my lips and crumbs splattered on my shirt. But I didn’t. Instead, I just ate another cookie, alone but politely, with my feet planted on the dirty kitchen floor and then I did the next weird thing I could think of: I went to bed wearing the grippy socks I wear to barre class, praying I would dance and be strong in my dreams.
Like I said, my misplaced mind might be gone forever, wandered off to the land of milk and honey, where you feel at home and an overwhelming sense of wonder. I’ve had daydreams lately of becoming a hiker. I’m Wild, but minus the blisters and duct-taped boots.
If you find it, my mind, please return it to its rightful owner. She really needs it. And send more cookies while you’re at it.