my father is addicted to sugar. it doesn't matter the form, he has to have it and he has to have it now. if there isn't any dessert, he will get spoonful of the refined stuff straight from the jar. on halloween, he buys candy for the neighbor kids and also a secret stash -- usually three times as big and ten times better quality -- for himself. you can always find three types of candy and at least one cookie variety in his car, and no box of chocolates makes it past a week at the house. one time when i asked him what the hell happened to the fannie may pixies mom brought home the night before, he said with no hint of a smile, 'it must have been the goblins.'
for someone who would spend 24 hours a day watching the news (if we had cable) to invent a scapegoat shows just how far gone he is in his addiction.
tonight he comes home from the hospital, arms full of stuff mom sent home. i had just come home from work.
'hey. how's he doing?'
'he's good; he even walked around a little today. i gave mom a rest and massaged his back for hours.'
'those knots still bothering him?'
'yep. but mom got a good four-hour nap, so that's good. oh, by the way, i had that haagen-dazs ice cream you had brought.'
'oh yeah, did he like it?'
'well, you know, he wasn't really in the mood for sweets today. he was cranky because he can't sleep.'
'and your mother said, 'why don't you take it home; we can't keep it in the nurses' fridge forever.' but you know, it probably would have melted on the way home, so i ate some. and then i thought, might as well finish it.'
'dad! so wait, let me get this straight: during all that time you were pressing out the knots in his back, somehow you had a chance to put away an entire pint of ice cream by yourself?'
'well... yeah. i didn't want it to go to waste.'
'so he didn't get to eat any at all, and mom didn't stop you?'
'you know she never lets me have any fun. i just waited until she fell asleep.'
'oh my god... well, do you want anything to eat?'
'are you kidding? i already had dinner. haagen-dazs. vanilla.'
you know you have a problem when you're pilfering goodies from the ailing and don't even feel the slightest bit of remorse.