The Last One

I have this quirk, I guess, this thing. Okay, yes, I understand that you want to call it a compulsion and maybe it is, but maybe just let me choose the words I use instead of trying to do it for me. Thank you.

Anyway, I have this quirk where I can’t take the last thing, it almost doesn’t even matter what it is. I mean, I can, but not if I really like it. And this dip is fucking delicious, let me tell you. It’s like I’m afraid of scarcity or something, like if I take the last one I’ll never have more ever again. I ruin things for myself that way. Like, this one time I bought a box of small cookie packs – you know, like the kind your mom would put in your lunch for school? except I don’t have a mom or go to school and all those cookies were just for me. I just liked that they were assorted, that they were packaged like that, 6 cookies to a packet, and they wouldn’t go stale even if it took me two months to eat them all.

But it didn’t take me two months. It took me three years. Or forever, I guess. Because that last packet of Nutter Butters? I never ate them. Nope, just never did. Because I liked them, you see, and if I’d eaten them I wouldn’t have had any more. And I couldn’t buy more because I hadn’t finished the first box. There was still that packet of peanut butter cookies, see. So they sat there on the kitchen counter and eventually in a drawer because every time I looked at them I thought You’re doing it wrong! but I couldn’t bring myself to do it any differently. I felt guilty. I was sorry. But I couldn’t do it any differently.

So after three or so years I finally threw away those old cookies, and I can’t buy another big box like that because I know what’ll happen and how it’ll all be fine until I’m down to the end and it’s not even the wasted cookies or whatever, it’s the way I feel knowing I’m like this, that I’m so afraid – why am I so afraid? – of running out of cookies that I will avoid eating them for years just so I always have those cookies there if I need them. Like a cookie emergency or something. It’s crazy it’s crazy and it makes me feel crazy and bad and wrong.

I should just say “no thank you,” shouldn’t I?

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Cynthia Lugo

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