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popcornthe year i turned nine, my mother (single, working, and fantastic, thank you very much) agreed that i didn’t need to go to after school day care any more, gave me my very own key and started teaching me how to cook for myself. boiled eggs. three-minute macaroni and fried sausages. instant rose hip soup. and for the evenings she worked late: popcorn. properly popped, in a pot, not the microwave. the popcorn lesson came with added “do NOT pour water on it if the oil should catch on fire, put the lid on!”-lecture. my mum is a clever woman. (i never did start a grease fire, though. lest you think i’m some sort of pyromaniac, considering my last entry.) i remember being so very proud that she trusted me like that. and i remember endless afternoons of reading on the sofa, with a teetering pile of books on the table next to me for when i inevitably finished the one i was plowing through (i was bloody voracious), and a guinea pig making himself comfortable on my chest, and every now and then helping himself to the half of my green apple i wasn’t currently biting into.

those things are still my best comfort foods. always will be. and there’s always a guinea pig. none of them has ever been as cuddly as him, though. my current horde stays still maybe two minutes, get bored, go exploring, and give me heart attacks by trying to cheerfully walk off into the air and perform death defying leaps into the book cases. (i think maybe we should stop picking piggies based on how silly they look, even though silly equals stupidly cute. it appears to me there is a correlation between looks and brains, in the piggie world.) they are insane and furry brats, with personalities ten times too big for them, and they make me happy. even though they don’t fold their sharp little legs under and yawn while i read and read and read. maybe they’ll figure it out some day.

(one of them tried to climb into my big mug of rose hip soup the other day. i told him very patiently i thought it wasn’t the greatest idea he ever had and let him lick soup off my fingers instead. he didn’t wander off for nearly ten minutes. maybe you can’t go back, but you can find another way. home.)