What gives cereal meaning? By itself, it can only be flakes in a box awaiting milk to soak in and swell. Each flake is in transition, from ground to bowl to bowl. But a life in a waiting room is without point until continued into the doctor’s office where the wait itself gathers importance, a reason for occurring. Thus a flake, or a loop perhaps, is experiencing just an insignificant fraction of it’s own importance waiting in the box. But then in an unjustly brief moment, relaxing in soft, soothing milk, the cereal bit will flourish and become whole, realising it’s full earthly potential: to be gobbled down by hungry mouth. Until that moment of inspiration, the cereal piece could never have intuition enough to discern more beyond the cardboard confines of the box. Like a child within it’s mothers womb, waiting nine months to burst into life, it is not until a smack on the bottom by doctors hand that the child finally understand what the transition to heaven must be like. And this too is the humble flakes fate.
Drowning in thirst, languishing in India, I could only beg in breathless English, words slipping from my desert mouth into alien ears.
“Please Sir… please stop. I am dying on your step. I need water. The Ganges makes me sick.”
I rub my stomach through a worn shirt and roll on the dirt, mimic vomiting, my hand gushing from my mouth and my fingers spread in a sewer puddle.
I turn onto my face, image after image of dying movie stars flood my vision, dying of thirst and bullet wounds, of broken hearts and necks. Michael J. Fox comforted by James Woods, Arnold Schwarzenegger lowering into molten metal encouraging Ed Furlong with his thumb, Asian kids killing each other.
A strong hand cradles my shoulder, runs through my thinning hair, lifts me from the hungry ground begging for me to stay and carries me to shade and wet. An accented voice permeates my dreams, issuing sage wisdom.
“Even monkey’s fall from trees.”
To awake being tended by Indian maidens, cleansing body and mind, experiencing early rumbles of a healthy erection, is to never have truly woken before.
“Tell me”, I ask a maiden, caressing arm, “can I be fed by you?”
She moves away with destination in mind as a man in a tunic steps from an archways shadow.
“I see you have regained your vigour sir.”
The Indian man claps his hands together, smiling from pierced ear to pierced ear, teeth missing and tongue split, skin curling with black tattoo ink.
“Would you like your breakfast sir?”
“Yes. Please. Bran flakes with whole milk. I can’t stand skimmed milk. Gives me hives.”
The Indian man is confused momentarily, stepping forward, crossing his arms.
“I am sorry sir, I do not seem to understand your words despite my many years learning English phonetically.”
“Bran flakes.” I gush, “I want cereal…. Cereal. In a bowl. With milk. From a cow. And a silver spoon. I like to stir.”
Realisation felt like an empty stomach with a lonely sitar as accompaniment. My mind rolling off the sandy verge, tumbling down the grassy decline. He did not know of cereal.
What is cereal? Mixed with whole milk, swirling in the bowl, cereal is the undiscovered country where complete taste experiences jostle with each other for dominance in mouths. Sweet chocolate hoops remind children that breakfast can be fun, while wholesome multi-grain cereal kick start sleepy grown-ups. It unifies with it’s sweet snap, crackle and pop while solidifying waste food in the stomach, keeping your body healthy and your coat shiny. However, cereal is not just the physical evidence of fibre and riboflavin’s, it is also the imagination of every child spinning new adventures and tales, fuelled by the nourishing morning meal. And like the gentle twirl of imagination, the world too keeps on turning, each new sunrise shining on exciting possibilities.
This post is sponsored by Kellogg’s. Healthy Beginnings.