Midnight Surreal: a short story


Staff Writer
The apartment grew large in the dim shades of nightfall. Eggshell white walls loomed, stretching off into the dark unknown of some long-forgotten daydream.
“Dark, isn’t it?” she flicked the light switch on, ending the delusion. The apartment returned to its drab old self. She hastened off into the living room, I slinked into the kitchen.
“Did you clean the bowls from breakfast?” I called out.
“Yeah,” she replied. “Why do you ask?”
“Just asking.”
I grabbed a light blue plastic bowl from the cupboard, setting it down on the countertop.
“Cereal is in the pantry?”
“Of course, where else would it be?” She entered the kitchen. “What are you doing?”
“Making myself some cereal.”
“It’s midnight.”
I poured out some Frosted Flakes into the bowl. “Yeah?”
“It’s not a normal thing to do.”
“Is it not?”
“It really isn’t.”
“Fair enough.”
She peeked into the fridge. “Remind me to get more milk tomorrow.”
“Are we out?”
“We will be after you have your cereal.”
“I could eat my cereal without milk.”
“Well, it wouldn’t really be cereal without the milk.”
“I guess.”
“Here.” She dumped the rest of the milk into the bowl. “Enjoy your cereal.”
“Sure,” I mumbled as she left the room.
I ate the cereal in silence. Cereal tends to either be the most delicious food ever or horrifically disgusting. The middle ground is pretty much nonexistent. It’s the sogginess that ruins cereal, really. If they made a cereal that could actually stay in milk without becoming soggy, I’d be incredibly happy. I know they have those bowls that keep the milk and cereal separate, but that’s not really the same thing.
I guess it’s kind of like a metaphor for life. Fresh and full of possibilities at the start, conflicting emotions near the middle, soggy and bland at the end. I reckon I ought to be in the fresh part of the cereal. Honestly though, I’m probably closer to the middle.
I better eat the cereal quickly. Cherish it but not too much. Enjoy it but not a lot. It won’t stick around anyway. And it’s not like the cereal wants to spend time with me. Must be torture, being eaten up. Consumed. Digested. Expelled.
I’ve been consumed. Mind you, not in the same way as the cereal is. The cereal is still good, thanks. I’m about a couple of spoonfuls in. There’s still a bit more to go. Consumed. Consumed. Why consumed? Why not consumed? It matches perfectly. Consumed by those curious emotions that come in greater and greater amplitudes and frequencies. Let’s look at it. Please, shall we? The cereal isn’t talking to me today, and you don’t really have the option to say no. So, there. Consumed.
I think the real question is whether I’m myself or I’m the cereal. But that’s not a real question, is it? I am myself, that aspect is not very disputable. Well, that’s not entirely true. I mean, what is identity really?
To say that i is me accepts the fact that me is i. But i don’t know who me is. Let’s just say that i am me, but me is cereal. Then when i am the subject i am i and when i feel objectified i can relate myself to the cereal, so me is cereal. i am eating me up
the cereal is still decent at this point why am i eating cereal at midnight its such a stupid thing to do like no one would actively say hey you know what i want at midnight cereal so im here eating my damn cereal while shes in the next room doing something else
who is she really i say i know her and she knows me and we are relatively happy together and she does something or says something and i mirror it and build on it and she maybe does the same and together we make a structure that works and we are content but we arent actually happy otherwise wed be together eating cereal
i might just be expecting too much out of things we dont have to do everything together i mean shes more sensible than me and doesnt rush headfirst into things except when she does and she probably has good reason for that she has good reasons for everything she does and that is why she does things because of her reasons and i appreciate that and i dont know why were friends or why were together or why anything is anything and why i l–e her and whats going on
oh the cereal is starting to get a touch soggy not too bad but its starting to become noticeable
shes too good for me there is no reason that she should ever talk to me and im too insecure and foppish to get anything done right and im clingy and somewhat possessive and jealous and needy and im jealous of her because shes too good for her own good shes too great and grand and fantastic and its completely unfair but she deserves it and i deserve my slightly soggy cereal because me is cereal and she is the best and her victories are not my victories and i want my own victories and i want to be her but also not her i want to be like her and we can be one twosome and a duo and be together and shes too good and too great and just too herself and why is she here with me and why cant i be as good as she is and why do i feel like i deserve her when i very clearly dont she deserves the best in the world and everything should go right for her and she should be happy and i l–e her and she probably cares but what is everything and why is everything and nothing is everything and everything is nothing and nothing is good or makes sense and christ i want to jump off a bridge with irons around my legs or something like that
Of course, the real quandary is why they still allow Frosted Flakes to be sold as cereal when it’s very clearly just a box of sugar with corn flake additives. They can’t possibly be healthy. But whatever, they’re great. Midnight cereal is great.