From the living room I can hear the sound of what is coming next. It is the middle of the evening, supper finished and forgotten, the nine o’clock news not far away. This time of night, my husband gets restless and makes his way to the kitchen. It is a nightly ritual for him, predictable as the sunset.
I hear it all from a room away. A cabinet door opens and a bowl clinks down on the counter. A drawer slides in and out and a spoon lands inside the bowl. When I hear Randy open the pantry door, I know what he has chosen. Tonight, it is cereal that will fill his bowl.
Last night it was ice cream, dressed in chocolate syrup.
Randy shakes the cereal box as he pulls it from the cabinet. He does this every time, fearful that the box might be empty and ruin his plan. In a world full of cereal choices, he is a Corn Flakes man; Corn Flakes with half and half, or grudgingly, with 2% if that’s all we have.
When the cereal is in, the cream is poured and the bowl is as full as it can be, he will carry it back to his recliner, walking slowly so it won’t slosh over. Then with a sigh, Randy will settle back like he has been looking forward to this all day. I turn the volume up on the television as he grabs his spoon, then I open my book and try to ignore what is about to happen even though I have learned that nothing will help. My husband clutches his spoon and begins.
Tap tap tap tap tap tap tap.
The room is full of that tapping sound as the spoon hits the side of his bowl.
Tap tap tap tap tap. Randy will tap that spoon around that bowl until the cereal is perfectly covered with cream. Only then will he open wide and take a bite, leaning over the bowl, cream dripping off his chin.
Click click click click click click click.
It all starts over again as he prepares his next bite.
Click click click click comes from his chair as that spoon circles around his cereal bowl. I try not to listen to the annoying sound of that spoon clicking away, working that bowl, tapping away like a well-oiled machine.
Tap tap tap tap tap.
That spoon never slows, never misses a beat, one bite after another.
Click click click click click.
For the complete article, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.