That’s what my dad, Joe used to do. I have this one memory of him, the one memory I invoke whenever I think of this subject. Him sitting at the kitchen table on Williams Drive, his back to me, the gallon jug of skim milk, the open box of an Entenmann’s Louisiana crunch cake and a glass and a plate. His sweet tooth was pretty reliable, especially on a weekend night. The predictability of his ritual was comforting. It makes me feel like him when I stay up late eating. I know it’s bad for me. I think all that late night sugar contributed to the rotting of his mind. Maybe it’s not the only reason, but based on some of the things I’ve learned I think it’s likely it was at least a factor.
I think about my own mind rotting as I eat jam and crackers and chips and chocolate at midnight. Those few moments the food is in my hand and then in my mouth, I don’t care about my future. As soon as I’m done stuffing myself, I feel regret. I care again. I think I do it because it makes me feel like he is still here. I want him here. I want my dad. But I will never see him again.