Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The last jar of pepper jelly

It's running out.

It won't last.

You don't understand. This is not a trivial matter.

It's the kind of stuff you hoard. Hide it in the back of the cupboard, behind the baking soda and the generic shell pasta, hoping she won't remember it's there.

It's the kind of stuff that, in a zombie apocalypse, you risk the group for the chance to see if a jar or two are sitting, covered in dust, deep in a cabinet, beckoning you within the broken-windowed door-flapping house, on the street where the quiet has weight and there are no birds and the cars are abandoned in the middle of the road and in the back of your mind you can hear the low atonal strings preparing for the moment when the gaping slavering noxious jaws burst forth from some improbable place and all hell breaks loose and if you only lose a couple of guys, well, it was worth it.

It's that good.

The last jar.
There isn't any more coming. Not for awhile, at least. The supplier, Trish, can only make so much, and now she's busy, a newborn baby has arrived, and the hoarders/addicts will just have to suffer. Then there's the whole transatlantic shipping thing, and customs, and it's gonna be a long time -- how long...? -- before a replacement jar may someday relieve the suffering of those eking out a life without.

You can't make it last. Even though it's the last jar. Once it's started, once the jar is opened, once it has begun, you're going to consume it. All of it. You don't want to share it, but she's your wife and thinks that comes with certain privileges. And now there's a third mouth to feed. He'll want some. He'll eat his dolloped cracker and then want yours. Please, Daddy. You'll give him another, hope he'll get distracted. I want more. Another ravenous beast to contend with. You have a hard decision to make.

You'll have to eat it after he goes to bed.

You forgive Trish. She has a life, and a job, and a family. And hobbies; knitting takes time. She has priorities. She can't just make jars of it all the time. You understand. Really.

Only one jar left. Do you have the good crackers? Is the dog safely locked outside, nose tongue tail away from the table?

The last jar.

It beckons.


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