This post was written on October 07, 2007 in response to a writing prompt. When I was fourteen, my father decided that his health problems were from eating meat. He became aggressively vegetarian. He allowed eggs and milk for the younger children, but those of us who were older were required to eat the same diet he did. It was during this period when I was finally growing that I was hungry all the time. So this is about then.
Sometimes at night when my stomach hurts, I would see the yellow and brown swirl at the back of my eyes. My eyes closed. I tried to think of anything, but my hunger.
We had washed the sheets today and pulled them taunt, pinning them on the line. The sheets would whip in the wind. It was much work, but when we were in bed we could smell the sweet pine in our sheets. No Downy. Just wind-whipped sheets.
Finally, when I couldn’t stand the sharp growls of my stomach, I would slip down the stairs to the kitchen. The kitchen was across from my parent’s bedroom. If they heard or smelled anything, they would be up… making us go back to bed hungry.
I dare not turn on the light.
Next to the oven, my sister and two brothers stood also hungry, also looking for food. We dry-giggled when we realized that we had tiptoed down those stairs– one after another.
I put four unshelled eggs in a pan. Boiled hard, we hand-pealed and ate them. The white, the yolk. Each had a distinct taste. We savored each part.
Afterwards we washed the pan. Hid the shells. We wanted no one to know we had been here.
It was done in silence.