Edible Nonfiction: Today's pick
By Kyla Hanington
It was like sex. I mean, drunken sex. I mean, sex with a stranger one night, home from the bar. His home or your home? Whichever is closer. It was, I mean, my first experience with the marriage between pleasure and shame. I like this. And doing this makes me wrong. Dirty. Ashamed.
I was young, nine, and thus could not have seen the emotional connection between that and picking up someone lovely in a bar more than a decade later. Pleasure and shame. Pleasure and shame. Mostly I just felt shame.
I hid in the woods, beneath a tree. From where I stood I could see our house, but I was ducked low in behind the trunk so if someone came looking for me - and they would, they would - they wouldn't see me there. I held the bar in my hands, gazed at the purple-blue hue of the outer wrapper, and ripping, ripping, the gold beneath, yanked away to reveal the chocolate. Cadbury's Fruit and Nut bar. Stolen - yes, stolen! - from the box we had in our kitchen, the box of chocolate bars we were supposed to sell to raise money for the swim team.
The chocolate, warm in my mouth, was both delicious and horrible. I wanted to enjoy it, savour it, have it last forever. But I was hiding beneath a tree, glancing out from underneath branches, worried my sister would see me, somehow, see the wrapper balled shamefully in my fist, as tight as I could get it. She'd see me and tell our parents. I hid beneath the tree, hoped no one would find out.
Just like the man and the bar in Idaho. Pleasure and shame, pleasure and shame. Hiding. Hoping no one would find out.
Kyla Hanington is from Nanaimo, BC