i’m a poet who is not aware of it

“If I had a peanut allergy, I’d just DIE!” One phrase, two meanings…efficient!

That phrase popped in my head for no apparent reason other than that I had had Thai papaya salad with dinner that has a sprinkling of peanuts in it. That phrase popped into my head, in a girl’s voice, as if she were exclaiming it…that I can’t explain. The girl has no face, no form at all really; and there is no memory associated with it, or play-acting of a fantasy. Just a phrase, heard only in my head, as I reached for my toothpaste having just grabbed my toothbrush.

I mulled the words over in my head as I unscrewed the cap and realized that the sentence could be taken in two ways…one with “I’d just DIE!” in the slangy Valley-girl way, and the other in the actual literally deceased way. Efficient communication! One sentence, twice the meaning, and only the tone of “her” voice to guide you down the correct path (it was the Valley-girl version).

Then, as I wet my toothbrush under the faucet, I reflected on how I would just die (Valley-girl again) if I had a peanut allergy because peanuts are one of my favorite things. They remind me of my Dad, from which I was introduced to the concept of filling up one bowl with salted in the shell peanuts and taking another identical bowl to place beside it for discarded shells. Do this on a large scale. Enjoy. It’s one of our “things”. Without it, I’m not sure what we’d have other than backgammon and teasing my mom to fall back on.

That 15 seconds was one of the most enriching of my day.

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