altercation

interestingly enough, it was the newscaster
who started all the fuss about whether i ate
your yogurt or whether you remembered to
buy any in the first place (because i definitely
finished off some yogurt, but i could have
sworn it was mine and you know we like
the same brand), when she said we should
“stock up” and “hunker down” because this
was going to be “the big one.” i guess
that’s when you started towards the fridge
and i towards the pantry, some automatic
tendency to survey the damage and see what
must be done, but we were both afraid. it is
a frightening thing to take inventory and to
imagine, “could i live on this?” (one wonders,
for how long? inside one’s head, one replays
all the haiti coverage, the videos of katrina and
of tsunami aftermath.) i remember we turned
to face one another across the long linoleumed
hallway, eyes wide to the semi-luminous mostly-
dark and flickering space of television on white
walls and a low ceiling. i struggled but could not
decide whether you were estimating the strength
within a comrade or the weaknesses of a potential
competitor. our eyes were wide. the yogurt, i
suspect, metonymously stood for all the doubts
we have thus far ignored concerning one another
and it begged for some response that would have
had nothing to do with who ate what, some
superseding gesture of validation: an opening
of some sealed place in my heart, an offering
of my precious gluten-free granola, a making
and remaking of love that might acknowledge
the fact that i do not do all things well and have
been known to eat foodstuffs that are not mine.
i sensed all this, but did not know what to say.

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