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The Unintended Psychological Underpinnings of a Hershey Bar

Mar 3, 2012

Hershey BarThe closed nightstand drawer
Calls to me.
I am six years old
And I know it's there.
My father is not home
And the bedroom is strangely still.
The bed is neatly made.
The dresser tops are orderly.
Lamps and books on the nightstands
On either side of the bed.
In my father's nightstand
is the drawer
Where he keeps a man-sized
Hershey bar,
Which he eats
One square at a time
One day at a time
With the self-discipline of a monk.

I open the drawer.
I see the brown paper wrapper with the letters
H-E-R-S-H-E-Y
and inside is the glorious prize.
I carefully unfold the paper
I carefully unfold the aluminum foil
Taking note of how my father folded it.
Has he counted the squares?
How can he keep himself from devouring it
all in one sitting
As I would do
If it were mine?

I take a square.
Taste, melt, ecstasy.
No, that looks wrong.
I take a row so it looks like it did before.
Taste, melt, ecstasy.
Now it looks too short.
I take another square.
I fold it back and shut the drawer,
Glancing furtively at the bedroom door all day.
Wondering what he'll say when he comes home.
Wondering if he'll notice.

Maybe he won't notice another missing square.
The ecstatic call is roiling my being
with the unhinged screams of the addict;
"How can you leave me here when there's still MORE?"

After twenty seven visits, one square at a time,
 I sit looking at the paper and aluminum foil
Wondering how it happened.
Wondering what I'll say.
Wondering what he'll say.
And never thinking of how this pattern
Will appear
In my life
again
And again.

Image(s) from Wikimedia Commons

Kimmy Sophia BrownKimmy Sophia Brown has loved humor and music and freedom for as long as she can remember.She is especially passionate about the environment and caring for animals.

She writes the column "From the Back Porch" as well as reviews of music in her column "MusicViews". Her goal in her music reviews is to introduce music she loves to people who may not have heard that particular artist or CD. For information about how to submit a CD for review, click here.

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