Why I Love Sugar, Reason #798

If your tear ducts need a workout, go read Sugar’s latest over at The Rumpus.

When I was eleven, my brother and sister and I went to visit our father. We traveled to the place he lived a thousand miles away from us and spent a week with him and his wife and one-year-old baby. We hadn’t seen him in five years. One afternoon my father made popcorn and told me I could have as much butter as I wanted on it. “More,” I kept saying as he poured the melted butter over the popcorn in my very own gigantic bowl. “More,” I persisted until the entire pile of it deflated like a popped balloon under the weight of all that liquid. I don’t know what posessed me. I couldn’t bring myself to stop saying more until it was ruined. In the end, there was nothing to do but throw the entire sodden mess in the trash.

I’ve thought about that for years. It’s one of those memories that haunts me. It makes me sadder than a lot of the actually sad memories of my father do. I think it’s because when we ruined that popcorn we were both trying so hard. He was, for once, trying to give me everything I wanted and I was trying to get everything I needed and it was way too late for either one.

There would never be enough butter for me in my father’s house. I had to find it elsewhere in the world. Just like you.

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