Mark RudioChili Dogs

The Cookie

Mark RudioChili Dogs

There were still plenty of holiday leftovers in the fridge, including more sweets than either of us would ever consume. Looking for something to snack on while making dinner, I saw two cookies that had been on one of the shelves for awhile. I popped one in my mouth. It was chewy, and its time in the fridge seemed to have robbed it of any real flavor it may have once had. I moved on to the homemade caramel corn, which was much more satisfying.

I went about preparing the meal, pausing to light a cigarette. As I inhaled, I couldn’t feel anything entering my lungs. I looked to see if there was a tear in the paper somewhere, but there wasn’t. I took another deep drag. Nothing. Stubbing out the defective American Spirit, I lit another. Same result, but I kept on smoking it.

“Where did you buy these cigarettes?” I asked.

“The place on the corner,” she replied.


“Something wrong?” she asked.

I didn’t reply, but kept on about my business. She was in the living room watching Bell, Book and Candle. It annoys me that I remind her of Jimmy Stewart.  I took another hit off the cigarette and felt a strange sludge winding its way outward from my ribcage to my limbs, eventually encasing me in something which felt toxic. I figured it was just the combined latent effects of the previous night’s dinner, not enough sleep and the torn muscles I was experiencing after working out hard for the first time in years.

Having set up what I needed to in the kitchen, I joined her in the living room bearing three cheeses and a medley of crackers arranged on a piece of black slate, which my sister had given me for Christmas.  Setting the slate on the coffee table, we started talking about something. I can’t remember what it was, probably something about how awful it is to be compared to Jimmy Stewart when you’d rather be thought of as a Bob Mitchum type. I started eating the cheese- I was particularly enjoying the Stilton.

Between mouthfuls I said something which didn’t quite sound right, meaning I didn’t like what I was hearing, not what I was saying. Then I realized I didn’t even care for what I actually said. And then it hit me.

“There were two cookies by themselves in the fridge.”

“Yes,” she replied, turning to me.

“Are they pot cookies?” I asked.

“Yes, don’t you remember? A_____ gave them to me.”

I suddenly had a vague recollection of a conversation we’d had more than a week earlier.

“Oh no!” she said, “Did you eat one?”


“How much?”

“What do you mean? They’re small- I ate the whole thing.”

“Oh shit. Really?”

“Yes. Why?”

“What’s your tolerance like?”

“I don’t know, can't really say- it’s been a long time, but I never had a high tolerance for the stuff.”

“Oh shit. Shit.  She said a half of one would last for hours. She recommended a quarter for me. You ate it all?”

“It was a small cookie.”

“This is going to be a very interesting night... what are you like when you’re stoned?”

“Like this, I guess,” feeling very much like Jimmy Stewart and nothing like Bob Mitchum, as I stuffed another piece of cheese into my mouth.

She began to laugh. I did, too.

“Do you want the other cookie?” I asked.