Christopher Vola

Tonight is Losing Teeth

One evening Uncle spit into your brother and reached for a bowl.

"Snap Crackle and Pop," he said, and you shoved him sense then, for you and your brother, into the corner table next to him until his head hit white bread and you licked the ketchup off and your dad charged in (bellowing through the house with your tee shirts pulled up, fleeing to your room and hidden under your blanket, exposed). You would smack your bellies then.

Instead, things were quiet for hours. You fell asleep being aliens. Afternoons spent you up.

Your brother was fine, screaming at the wall, "We’re not afraid of you," regenerated, grown into two new heads, wormlike as you jumped, punctuating the word "kitchen" and wanting to know if you wanted some and laughing like crazy. At some point your brother’s throat was swallowing mint chips, silently muttering.

The weirdness of childhood. The things that make Rice Krispies (the snapcracklepop), the things that make your chair. You hadn’t considered the sharp things you did. You smeared ketchup on slices cracked open.

Your brother started wailing and left the bread on your plates. You ran around demanding to know what had happened. You, your heads, arms still in the sleeves, stomachs expecting horrible punishment at any moment.

"Oyoyoyoyoyoyoyoyoy!" you thought.

Eventually your dad woke and came in. His head had split in two.

"Oscar the Grouch!" you shouted that over and over.

Uncle was having some ice cream in his “grouch” by landing on your butts instead of feet. You tottered from the kitchen as one expressing displeasure at a given situation. Your dad licked his lips. "Snap Crackle and Pop, the old mouth." One remembers the origin of this phrase.

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