One day, at the age of twelve or thirteen, as I was coming down the stairs into the kitchen I noticed the Hershey bar on top of the refrigerator and, being particularly desirous of something sweet at the time, decided to eat it, and did so. Technically there was a Hershey bar on top of the refrigerator so that if my diabetic mother’s blood sugar should ever fall precipitously low my father would have something with which to prevent her falling into a diabetic coma before she could be gotten to the hospital. I knew, however, that this was only a formality, since such a thing had never happened in my memory and my mother’s diabetes was well under control. The Hershey bar was delicious.
Then, about a month and a half later, my diabetic mother’s blood sugar fell precipitously low. I remember the ensuing scene only very, very vaguely; I know it involved my father’s roaring at me, my dissolving into wailing, tearful sobs, and the emergency delivery by some means or other of a Hershey bar to the house. My mother did not fall into a diabetic coma before she could be gotten to the hospital. She did end up having to stay there for a week or two, but when she came back she seemed more or less fine.
I grew up in a house where if you ate a candy bar somebody might die. Is it any wonder I’m fucked up?