The Problem with Peanut Butter

by Ella Kleinman

Staring didn’t accomplish much. The peanut butter would win that contest. It could have been anyone who left it out. Everyone had free range of the kitchen last night, I’m sure there were various cases of the munchies. But I hated that midnight peanut butter toker.

The morning – well, my shifted version of the morning – was spent picking up last night’s shreds. The seemingly never-ending supply of red cups the floor had been graced with, the empty beer bottles that had been gifted to odd corners of rooms or various house plants, and the excessive amount of grime that had mysteriously made its way everywhere.

I didn’t touch that peanut butter though. It was all too well-placed. I used to find it there in the morning – not that exact jar, but the same creamy off-brand kind. It became our sort of routine. He would wake up around the 3am mark, shuffle over to the peanut butter’s home, and gouge out a spoonful. I’d clean up the evidence of his food excursions in the morning.

For months after he left I would wake up around that same 3am mark and unceremoniously think of him and his damned peanut butter. When I heard that he was back in prison I started eating a good amount of that creamy peanut butter, until I remembered that I didn’t really like it.

So I stood there staring at the peanut butter, the morning after the party I had thrown, to maybe help me finally think about something else. It wasn’t really accomplishing much.

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