Better Breakfasts Than This

The way I’d eat poptarts when I was young explains a lot.

We were more of a cereal family – not so much your average prepared-breakfast breakfast types. But when I was in braids and in a uniform, three of my friends had poptarts in their cereal cabinets and I had to have a box in mine. They all had the frosted/sprinkled kinds, but i knew that I couldn’t race so far ahead especially since I didn’t know what a plain/*un*frosted  poptart tasted like.

My first poptart was blueberry. I peeled open the metallic-but-really-plastic wrapper in a slow maybe-there-might-be-a-golden-ticket-in-here way. Or as if i were an astronaut about to eat some secret, scientific thing. I realized there were TWO in there. I gently pulled out the first one – it surreptitiously rubbed against the other. Very little crumbs resulted from that move and the most i felt (crumb-wise) was the tiniest bit of graininess/greasiness on my fingertips. i didn’t need a plate.

I smelled it – it smelled like cake crust, not real cake crust, but some kind of sweetness you’d get at a cafeteria. Then i smelled it in the center around the holes where you could see color/flavor/color poking out. That smelled GOOOOOD. Something blue was hiding in there.  I love blue food. It excites me. It’s wrong and goes against nature. I nibbled the corner and the ready-made-dessert taste crumbled in my mouth. I break a bigger piece away from the whole – a cross section of blue/purple looks at me straight in the eye. I put it in my mouth and explosions of warm blue/purples (not grape-purple, realer purple) whirl in my mouth reaching its peak at the far back corner. Then DOWWWWWWN. It burns as it goes down and a small warm temporary celebration occurs at the base of my stomach. (I never bit into a poptart. I broke pieces away – pinky up.)

I nibbled the outer edges all-around leaving the middle. By this time it looked like a piece of deli turkey with small holes of color peeking through. I separate the top from the bottom, shifting one piece sideways watching the deep, purple glaze shine in the light, looking like a flat, jelly rug or doormat. First the top piece then the bottom. Fruit in direct contact with my tongue. Making the whole process last as long as it could. I don’t even attempt the second one.

As I began to branch out, I moved onto strawberry and wasn’t impressed. it was red and generic. However cherry was not generic at all. It was peculiar and lured me regardless of its boring color and flavor-association.

The only frosting type I really tried was the blue one with the zig-zag purple line across the top. It looked cool. A plastic toy – that i could eat.

I don’t think I ever liked pop tarts. I was definitely impressed by them, though. And I give myself credit for not being fooled by frosting.


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