April 24th, 2014
“When was the last time you talked to your mom?”
“Sunday, of course. I called her to thank her for these jelly doughnuts.” I said, raising the bag of sugary treats. She’d only sent me jelly doughnuts because she heard someone in the grocery store talking about them and thought that I might like some. I hate jelly doughnuts, but I don’t have the heart to tell her that.
“Good,” he said, “People who talk to their mother’s more frequently live longer, on average.”
We laughed and parted ways.
I could feel my blood sugar slowly slipping away from me as I made my way back to my apartment. I tend to grow cryptically philosophical when my blood sugar slips, pondering the big questions in life. The jelly doughnuts grew heavier and heavier in my bag as I headed back home. But I already told you, I don’t like jelly doughnuts, no matter how much my mother loved me and cared for me by sending me a care package full of high calorie pastries.
After I grow cryptically philosophical, I slowly drift into a feeling of mind wandering, as if my mind was a kind of a pet on a leash, and it had just excitedly bolted from my guardianship. I chase after it, trying to catch it before it scurries across one of my mental highways and gets run over by a passing thought, or gets distracted by a passing female. It happens when I have low blood sugar.
Of course, a jelly doughnut would solve that problem, but I’m not eating a jelly doughnut. I already told you, I don’t like jelly doughnuts.
My eyes dart up the street – Maybe I should just scarf down a doughnut before I get home, so my blood sugar doesn’t bottom out or so that I don’t faint before I get home. I open up the care package that my mother sent me and stare at the four hundred calorie pastry, oozing with corn syrups and sugar.
I wasn’t about to eat this thing. I took the doughnuts and threw them away. I’ll get home before my blood sugar goes too low.
The last attitude that floods over me when I have low blood sugar is an unenviable confusion and a rapid pondering of my own existence. I threw out the jelly doughnuts and began to wonder about all of the things that I’ve ever thrown out. I started to think about the things that I’ve wasted. I started to think about things that I’ve discarded, and whether it matters or not that I try to eat healthy, and whether or not my eating habits will affect my children, or my grand children, or my great grand children.
I reach the steps of the subway, and I feel myself falling down. My hands smack against the disgusting grit of New York subway asphalt and tile, the kind that would be cleaner if I spat on it.
Maybe there was a reason my mom overheard that person in the grocery store. Maybe there was a reason it sparked her imagination and made her want to send me doughnuts. Maybe I should have eaten one of them and gotten my blood sugar back to where it should’ve been, instead of throwing them away.
When I have low blood sugar, my mind wanders. As my vision blurred and faded, I saw my mind start to cross the highway of my thoughts and buckle over in the stampede of traffic.
But if there was a reason that my mother sent me doughnuts, it was lost on me.
Sign up to receive A Story Each Day via email: