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An Advent Cookie's Rumination


by Steven Miller


The sugar cookie sits on the cold counter. Alone. He is cut in the shape of an angel, a fact which often causes him to contemplate the possibility that maybe he isn't a cookie after all, but an angel. Who says he couldn't be? There are boy angels—Gabriel, Raphael, Cookie. Maybe he isn't real sugar-dough, but pure spirit, momentarily delayed in this ceramic bowl covered with snowflakes. Or perhaps he's some sort of simplistic metaphor told to a child after mass one morning, a symbol for this entire wintry season. Is metaphor the right word? Or is it metonym? Synecdoche? Is that how you say it? Sin-ech-do-key. No, he is a real cookie. How could he not be—so full of egg and butter, and freckled with bright red crystals of colored sugar?

The counter is cluttered with glass statuettes of Christmas trees and is verged with white tear-drop lights and fake, green fir leaves that form a festive garland. He doesn't know what these mean exactly, but they make him feel safe and warm. Oven warm. Nor does he know where he came from or what it is he's waiting for. But deep inside (well, as deeply as a one-inch-deep cookie can go) he's aware of a vague restlessness. There in the very center of his dough, implanted from the very beginning, is a desire to be chosen, to love and to be loved in return. Oh, how we cookies can philosophize, he thinks self-deprecatingly.

What he does know is that his associates have all absconded, each and every one, and that he himself has passed his prime some days ago, has passed his youth—his warm and gooey youth—and so all he can do now is wait . . . waiting like Mary (is there no sorrow she cannot relate to—even unto a cookie?) ever patiently to be assumed.

Oh no! the cookie thinks. I am a metaphor! Or is it simile? But just then a child's eager hand reaches into the bowl—assuming him body and soul with a giggle and a burp.

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