Oreos fix everything


My father's face was stark white, and angrier than I had ever seen it. I sat on top of a tall, paper-covered cushion and stared between him and my female doctor, a woman of small stature and rich, Indian skin. In the space between us, my right leg dangled uselessly, crippled in contrast to the left one. It was, of course, the focus of everyone's attention.

The only sounds in the room came from a plastic tray of Oreo cookies, whose packaging I took care to rustle extra noisily, trying to ease the overall atmosphere. Unfortunately neither my dad nor my doctor (Dr. Doche) would be distracted. They were glaring hard at the room's far wall, where a sheet of x-rays had been hung crookedly.

"Now do you see?" My dad asked impatiently, pointing madly. "It's clearly broken. Look at her damn leg. Just look."

It didn't take long for Dr. Doche to answer, and when she did, she did it in a thick accent, and a slur that gave way to many small pauses.

"No, I…there is just a small fracture. A hairline break. She will be…fine, yes? Kids cry a lot, over…nothing."

They looked at eachother, hard, for just a moment. –And then before I knew it, my dad had snatched me up and was fastening me, furiously, into a toddler car seat outside the office. We left without paying a bill, and drove swiftly home. Along the way he explained to me that my leg was broken, that I wouldn't be able to use it again for a long, long time. I began a long sentence of wailing and screaming, which he silenced with another package of Oreos.

They were ever-present in my childhood.