I just wanted to go home and snuggle with my favorite pillow. We had been in India for an entire month to visit relatives on our first trip back after moving to America. In the beginning, it was fun to meet people I had only seen in photographs. But the magic didn’t last. I was tired of not sleeping in my own bed. I didn’t want to share a room with my parents anymore, because six-year-olds were too old for that.
As soon as we returned from our trip, I ran upstairs to embrace my stuffed animals. That night, I fell asleep contentedly, but something was still off. Things were not yet back to the way they were supposed to be. Jet lag had made me its latest victim.
Every morning, I would wake up around 1 am and crawl into my parents’ bed to discover that they, too, were awake and restless. Yawning, my mother would guide me to the kitchen and together we would go through kitchen cabinets to find something that was light, yet satisfying. We chose Corn Flakes.
Since then, Corn Flakes became somewhat of a companion. In middle school, when girls were bratty and the boy I liked was flirting with someone else, I would come home and console myself by indulging in a bowl of Corn Flakes. In high school, the horrible girls and flirty boys were replaced by stressful classes and ridiculous amounts of homework. After a day of exhaustive lectures and difficult tests, a bowl of Corn Flakes sounded like heaven.
I’m not sure why I had formed an attachment to such a plain cereal. Maybe it was because Corn Flakes didn’t require any special preparation. Maybe it was because they always tasted the same, crunchy and milky all at once, regardless of what was going on in life. Maybe it was because they gave me the feeling that despite all my concerns, everything would be okay. But I have a hunch it was because they reminded me of that week of jet lag when I got to hang out with my parents in the middle of the night and just enjoy a bowl of Corn Flakes.