There’s something so comforting about dunking a chocolate cookie in milk. Something about how oreos soak up the milk and crumble on my tongue at 1:12 AM brings me home.
I thought back to all the times I’ve dunked a cookie sandwich throughout my childhood.
At 5, I was too naive to know the pack was resealable so I cut it open, recklessly ravishing a cookie like the monster on tv. Screw the milk, I’m lactose-intolerant.
At 10, Oreos were my favorite snack. I pulled them out and dealt them at recess, trading for other goods like a drug dealer. I think Oreos may be made with an addictive substance after all.
At 12, I ran around the house grabbing any cookie I could, trying to eat everything my adolescent body craved.
At 16, I made 60 oreo balls for a bake sale with my then boyfriend. He stood behind me and mushed my hands into the dough in an overly sweet, totally teenage rom-com kind of way.
And tonight, at 18, I dunked an oreo into milk for what could only be the thousandth time – but something is missing. The sweetness that used to satiate my palate was left, well, not satiated. Something is missing, but I can’t put my finger on it. The milk that I’ve drank (sparingly because I hate milk) for the past 10+ years tastes bland, lacking even.
I dunk Oreo after oreo, waiting to feel the warm fuzzies that I’ve connected to this motion. Memories are often triggered by taste, scent, motion, or even sound. I have more than plenty of positive and comforting emotions to be triggered in the moment, but I was drawing a blank.
My tongue was being coated in sugar but something left me wanting more. The milk coated my tongue in a weird unfamiliar way, but it was something I knew shouldn’t be strange. The milk hadn’t gone bad and this was a new pack of oreos, so what is wrong here?
I looked up around the kitchen, virtually silent at 1:18 am. I looked at the black granite countertops, stark against the mucas-green walls. The yellow-tinged lighting only made me feel more like the center of a dramatic soap opera scene. As if in that moment, I should be breaking down. Like how a mother comes home, stressed and tired, crumpled on the kitchen table sobbing. But I’m not stressed nor tired, and I’m not breaking down. I’m just feeling a little bland, you know?
Maybe this is the calm before the storm. After all, I am going to college in a month. Maybe it’s a delayed affect and the sudden satisfaction and sweetness will hit me later.