I got a new jar of vegemite for Christmas. It's been ages since I, in Oregon, or my mom, in California (mom is my faithful vegemite hunter), have been able to find it. One day I got online and almost ordered some from Texas or somewhere, but the shipping was upwards of twenty dollars. Now that little jar is sitting in a heavenly glow and a chorus of angels in our kitchen cabinet - next to an old jar, a years-old jar with nothing but a slick of lovely salt black coating its insides. There isn't enough in that old jar to make a fifth of a sandwich with - only enough to maybe stick your finger in and get sticky. But I've been unwilling to throw it out. Oh, vegemite lasts for years - at least that's what I've always figured since at some point in my childhood, far, far after we'd come home from Australia, we found a few jars we'd stashed somewhere, and we ate them.
It occurred to me this morning that I've always been this way. Like how I won't wear the sock with the hole in the heel, but I won't throw it away until I get a new pair. Out of nowhere this morning I remembered a story I wrote when I was pretty young, about a spaceman lost in space with no contact to the earth, waiting to be located and saved. Apparently in this particular time period, all the nourishment you need you get in pill-form, and the crux of the story is that the spaceman saves that one last pill, unwilling to take it, until, as luck and the twelve-year-old brain would have it, the day he finally starves to death, he is found. Triumphant music - open the pod - move the camera in close, to fall on, first, the dead spaceman and finally, ah irony, the one last pill.
It's funny that I'd write that cautionary tale to myself and still to this day be that spaceman.
It's also funny that I never realized, when I was writing that story, that really, with the length of time I had the guy languishing and starving, one pill probably wouldn't have changed anything much.
Just long enough
1 day ago