I walked into the kitchen, opened the magic cabinet that holds the "big business" bags. Billy coined the phrase "big business bags" for the plastic we walk around with in our pockets on Bob walks. "You know. For big business!" Bob knows the term as well. It's one of the few times he lifts his eighty-eight pounds off the floor in a circle of joy.
We got back home and as Bob ate his dinner, I ate mine. I sat at our kitchen table that had been home to our meals for so many years. I ate my hot dogs and chips. I pondered, not for the first time, I had not cooked anything for the last fourteen months. Not one thing. In fact, I literally haven't opened our food cabinet. Not once. Go ahead. Open it. After I stuffed down the dried out buns wrapped around those dogs, I got up and looked inside the pantry.
It was all there. Billy's favorite pasta boxes, sagging from the time passed, were right next to the stack of tuna cans we had bought during a recent stab at a better diet. Cobwebs linked the jar of cooking oil to a box of candies Billy bought me some time ago. I can't even remember when. Two jars of our favorite spaghetti sauce stood strong as if they knew they would never be opened.
It wasn't until I looked up at the top shelf that I started to cry. Two boxes of Captain Crunch and a box of Lucky Charms were the things I was most afraid of. There they were. Their bright colors were dulled by age and cobwebs. "They're magically delicious!" was what he said every time he would bring a bowl back to bed to eat while we watched TV. He said it as if I had forgotten how delicious they were. Magically!
Seeing the dust on those boxes told me everything I already knew. It brought me to my knees. Bob came over and stood by me as I cried, and I reached and grabbed him and hung on. He didn't move but let me get a patch of his black hair wet. We were locked in this weird and, I'm sure for him, uncomfortable position for about five minutes. I kissed him right on his black blubber lips and stood up. I closed the cabinet doors and realized there was not another reason to open them again.
I'm upstairs now, in the guest house, answering email and I am wondering what will ever be magically delicious again.