I go into the kitchen and already waiting for me in “my spot” at the table is a bowl, spoon, and a box of Cheerios. Just like home. When I was little the only cereal I ate were Cheerios because it looked like little inner tubes; it was the only cereal, in my mind, that should be allowed to float in milk. It was also fun to imagine the tiny creatures that would use said inner tubes. As I wasn’t allowed to go grocery shopping with mother it wasn’t until school that I discovered the majesty of Fruit Loops. Still, Cheerios hold a special place at the breakfast table. Clearly my aunt and uncle were made aware of this preference. God forbid Simon should throw a tantrum about his breakfast cereal, right?
The first time I notice that I’m alone downstairs is when I’m pouring the cereal into the bowl. I get up to get the milk from the fridge myself upset to find that there is only skim in there. Anybody knows that the body doesn’t properly digest skim milk; I’ll eat the cereal with it but the watery milk forgery is going down the drain when I’m finished.
With nothing else to read but the box I find that I’m done reading it (all four sides) before I’m even halfway through my bowl of cereal. This is when I notice the person standing in the doorway to the kitchen; he is a man of about six feet, has long gray and wavy hair that shimmers under the artificial light, and his grin looks stolen from the Coca-Cola Santa (paired with the rosy cheeks and we might as well have a perfect doppelgänger).
“Hey,” I respond.
“Do you remember me. It’s been a while since I’ve seen ya. I think you were about this big,” he says holding a hand up to the door frame signifying a height that I haven’t been since I was at least 8 or 9 years old.
I remember him being thinner.
“How does it feel to be in New York? The city I mean,” he chuckles at his terribly apropos bad joke.
“It feels like I’m eating a bowl of Cheerios,” I say through a mouthful of cereal.
“I like the buildings.”
“Yeah and boy are there a lot of different ones to look at.”
This conversation is pointless.