I have no idea how they got there, all I know is that every time she drops her arm a few more fall out onto the floor. The floor in fact, seems covered with the things. Bethany has a tendency to land more food on the floor than between her lips and tonight is no exception. The French fried onions, always a favorite have somehow infiltrated her clothing.
She wears that oversized, hooded sweatshirt and with her straight-cut, jet-black hair, looks more like a Lutheran friar than a teenaged girl. Like a friar, she too has something up her sleeve; onions. She eats them with the zeal of a bulldog, landing more on the floor than in her mouth.
She seems annoyed by the dust buster that I use to suck up the onions that keep falling on the floor. She looks at me, nuzzles the hose of the unit with her calloused right hand, shakes her left arm again like a duck ruffling its wings, and produces still more fries. I took her baggy sleeve and gave it a good shake. Once I was satisfied that I’d cleared the breech of this gun, she begins to shake the right arm, producing even more fried onions.
This time I take the sweatshirt all the way off and we head outside to shake it out. She finds humor in this and goes along giving the pockets a few good punches. I ask her if she’d like to leave the sweatshirt off for the night, a question I’ve been asking for the last nine months – I’m confronted with the same answer I’ve been hearing for the last nine months; a long, slow, “NO”.
She’s up in bed now. Laughing as I clean up the meal that she hoped to mule upstairs. Never let it be said that there is “no value” in a life affected by chronic disorder. Again tonight, she’s demonstrated that there’s a whole unseen world out beyond the grasp of my comprehension. It’s a world in which French fried onions become weapons of reason, baggy sleeves become vehicles of debauchery, and a simple squeal of delight reminds me that all my knowledge and wisdom equals nothing.