A Monologue with the Æther


I’m talking about the legume, raw. Sometime around the time when I was just starting or just ending the 1st grade, my next door neighbor, John, and I proceeded to eat a large paper grocery bag full of raw peanuts. John’s father had gone out to Suffolk, Va and bought a bag full of raw peanuts that he was going to roast himself. John and I partially ruined that plan and my youthful love of the goober.

We had been playing outside when we decided for some unremembered reason to go in to John’s house where we discovered the raw peanuts still in shell. We loved peanuts. Being young, we had no idea that there was a difference between raw and roasted. We started cracking open shells and gobbling up those goobers. We noticed the lack of roasting and salt at that point, but the nuts were good. So, we gobbled.

Between us, John and I managed to consume nearly half that bag before John’s father came upon us. He didn’t say a thing. He didn’t need to. Our greed had done us in. At the point, when John’s dad discovered us, we were feeling the ill effects of consuming so many raw peanuts. A few at a time would have been okay, but not half a paper grocery bag between two small boys. We were looking green and feeling awful.

To this day, I still remember that heavy, queasy feeling in the pit of my gut, that awful nausea and desire to vomit it all up. I never did. I never did. I remember feeling sick for hours, just miserable. After that I could never eat large amounts of peanuts, I still can’t. The merest whiff of raw peanut provokes a sensation of nausea in me, yet. I can eat all manner of raw foods that we don’t typically consume raw, but not peanuts. No, not peanuts, not even 40 years later. Just, thinking about makes my gut churn.