sweetened

Before he stopped eating sugar altogether, in our early days, Dave ate candy canes.

“Stop it,” I’d admonish. “Those are just decorations.”

“They’re in a bowl,” he reasoned. “… on the table.”

I gave him a look, refusing to agree to the obvious.

“The table where we eat.” he continued– recklessly, given the stubbornness in my eyes.

Silently and firmly, I pulled the candy canes out of his hand and set them back in the bowl.

“They’re made of sugar,” he said, enjoying my annoyance now, more than he ever enjoyed a candy cane.

“Candy canes are not for eating,” I explained patiently. “They are decorations.”

“But you’ve eaten pig feet,” he argued with a smile. “Those are for walking.”

The analogy was ridiculous and I started laughing. “Oh for… just eat something else,” I ordered.

He saluted me with a grin.

_________________

Years later, at a Christmas charity ball, the hostess lamented that all the ornaments would go to waste.

“Give them to Dave,” I interrupted. “He eats decorations. Even the kind that could kill him.”

He choked on his laughter, handing me the candy cane he put in his pocket. He was diabetic by then, but the full story was too much to explain at a party.

“It’s my way of putting sparkle and sweetness in my cold dark heart,” he deadpanned to the hostess.

She peered at him for a moment, concern stretching her carefully-manicured face, as she wondered if he really ate ornaments. He stared back blankly until she let out a nervous trill of laughter.

That year, she mailed us a dozen boxes of sugar-free candy canes and Christmas ornaments.

“You confused her,” I told him.

“I made her think is all,” he protested with a grin. “As long as I make people think, I’ll die a happy man.”

“How ’bout you live as a happy man?” I bantered.

“How could I not?” he said. “I have enough candy cane for a week.”

_________________

He’s been dead 575 days now. 2 Christmases.

There’s bowls of candy canes everywhere– on front desks, on dinner tables, on trees.

I don’t eat them.
They’re decorations.

But they sweeten my holidays anyway.

31 thoughts on “sweetened

  1. In an attempt to say more than thud I may end up saying less.
    I wish I had known him longer so I’d had more chances to be tricked into thinking. I wish I had made more of an attempt to reach out to him while you were down. I wish I had written him a letter for every one I wrote you.
    I wish I knew how to soothe the ache in my heart because then I might know how to soothe yours too.
    Apparently I have lots of wishes… which is fine to a point. And now I’ve begun to ramble and regret not just writing thud. I don’t trust my words. Whatever it was I was striving for has been lost…
    I’ll find it again, eventually, if it is worth finding. And maybe that was the point all along.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. He knew you loved him. Just like me. He knew we were his buddies as surely as that dark humor rolled off his tongue daily.
      I know your guilt, friend. I feel it too.
      It’s why you & I joined art & words for Blocked Sun.
      I miss him greatly, but he knew we were his friends. & He didn’t give over that trust to just anyone. Ask Ra. She’ll tell you if she hasn’t already. ❀

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I love the ‘pigs feet for walking’. I now keep trying to think of other bad analogies – Dave was quick with retorts!
    Thank you for sharing your memories of Dave, I know they bring mixed emotions. Thud x

    Like

  3. I read this with mixed feelings (as I see others have too). The word that comes to my mind now is “bitter sweet”, but perhaps that’s not a bad feeling. 575 days. There must be so many small things that remind you of Dave, all the time. Thanks for sharing the candy canes with us!

    Liked by 1 person

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