Vanilla Sugar

by Maya Mitrasinovic, age 15
Vanilla Sugar Maya likes kale and Taylor Swift; she enjoys writing both poetry and prose while wrapped in blankets (burrito-style) and eating kale while listening to Taylor Swift. She is a big fan of semicolons. Maya has been going to Writopia for two years.

“And the sky blue of my walls matches the color of my eyes and now that I think about it, that’s tacky. My walls should be light grey to match the color of my eternal need for whipped cream because it’s not with passion it’s with longing, and light grey is the international color of rainy days and on rainy days you long for the sun. But I don’t long for the sun.”

I keep three packets of vanilla sugar in my room at all times because I’m the type of person who goes to bed at 3:27 a.m. just because I can, and at any given time I should be able to reach into the mahogany drawer on the left hand side of my bed and pull out a packet of vanilla sugar. And I believe that at 3:26 a.m. I should be awake enough to tip toe to the kitchen and grab a carton of whipping cream and make some of the best whipped cream you’ve ever tasted, because the secret is vanilla sugar, and who cares what time it is?

And right now it’s 12:10 a.m. and I have two hours and sixteen minutes to go but I really want some whipped cream and I can’t wait for every second of those two hours and sixteen minutes to pass because not even I can resist my own whipped cream. And the sky blue of my walls matches the color of my eyes and now that I think about it, that’s tacky. My walls should be light grey to match the color of my eternal need for whipped cream because it’s not with passion it’s with longing, and light grey is the international color of rainy days and on rainy days you long for the sun. But I don’t long for the sun. I like the grey days because then I have an excuse to sit in my sky blue room with an elephant onesie and eat whipped cream with a full packet of vanilla sugar.

It’s 12:11 a.m. and I can see the snowflakes outside my grey window and they just remind me of the vanilla sugar that I want, that I need. I’m covered in a light grey throw blanket and the nest of chargers next to me is the main barrier between myself and my three packets of vanilla sugar and if I don’t get up I’m lazy, but if I get the packet out of my drawer I’ll inevitably tip toe to the kitchen and whip up the fluffy white cream and then I’ll have no self control. But if I sprinkle some raspberries on top…

No.

I’m fine with the reruns of Tom & Jerry; I love Tom & Jerry; Tom & Jerry were the first to make me laugh. Tom & Jerry can keep you distracted long enough to forget what you want for a few seconds because you’re caught in the rivalry that you know is ridiculous but you need some ridiculous mammals right now because ridiculous mammals don’t require vanilla sugar to calm you down. Ridiculous rivalries between ridiculous mammals are all I need right now. Because there’s an envelope from the Harvard Admissions Office on my desk chair and it’s staring at me, looming over me, and it’s been there for two days and I can’t manage to do anything but make whipped cream and stuff my pillow cases with vanilla sugar. Because who needs college, right? And I can’t even see how big the envelope is because I don’t know the difference between big envelopes and small envelopes and everyone knows what a big envelope means, but who got to decide what makes an envelope big? I mean, to Tom, a big envelope is a regular sized envelope to us, and who got to decide that? Who has the right to say, “If you got into our pretentious little academy then you get a nice big envelope filled with nice big forms,” and why should I fall into the trap? Why would I ever want to fill out a nice big form? I hate big forms.

Thirteen days ago, I was the type of person who collected stamps and had an extensive knowledge of psychology and brains and thought that maybe I could work with brains; maybe I could be the type of person who helps psychotic people. Eleven days ago, four point oh average London Harris got her acceptance letter. Ten days and twenty three hours ago, I strolled to the deli half a block away from my house, still calm, and bought my first pack of vanilla sugar. Ten days and twenty hours ago I started noticing that mothers look up into my eyes and reflexively pull their children away. And now, as I’m ready to tear open my two hundred and seventeenth packet of vanilla sugar, I can feel this weird vanilla sugar haze seeping from my brain to my eyes and nesting there, whispering “Packet or letter? Packet or letter? Packet or letter?” And I don’t know what’s better: packet or letter? And then suddenly there’s a devil on my left shoulder and an angel on my right and the angel is dressed in a vanilla packet suit and the devil is wearing a maroon Harvard crewneck. They’re climbing into my ears and one’s yelling “packet!” while the other screams “letter!” and  I’m just sitting there while miniature nuisances kill my cochlea. And it sucks. It really, really sucks, because all I want is vanilla sugar. I don’t even care, okay, I don’t even care about Harvard. I just care about the teeny crystalline balls of magic held within this baby blue, two-square-inch, glorious wrapper with a picture of a sugar cookie on it.

I demand my vanilla sugar in its packet like Monday morning teenagers need lattes with two shots of espresso and fake sugar, because real sugar is only for those who appreciate it. Because people who fake the sugar don’t appreciate it. They don’t appreciate it, don’t appreciate it.They don’t understand the joy that you get with sugar in your blood. Insulin levels, glucagon levels rising, trying to fix you. What is wrong with you? Why are your sugar level so high? What is up with your hormones, why aren’t they filtering it out? What are you doing? Where is your fake sugar, your Splenda, Sweet ‘n Low, but I can’t take my lattes with Splenda. What even is Splenda? I need to take my sugar like my life: with a hint of vanilla, not the fake stuff. Appreciate the sugar, okay. Appreciate it like children minus the ickyness, no boogers in vanilla sugar. There’s no Harvard ink font letter in my baby blue vanilla sugar packet of happiness, but pure bliss like high school drop-out gangsters get from drugs minus all those needles because, ew, ouch, no needles, they make me cry crystalline tears that look nothing like what you think vanilla sugar would look like nothing at all because it’s powdery not shiny and I love it, I love vanilla, I love it, love it, love it, look up to it appreciation at its finest

appreciate the vanilla sugar like catholic school children appreciate God

     sweet crystalline crystalline from sugar cane

vanilla beans like string beans but not green or gross

they make my vanilla sugar packets

vanilla sugar soul packets

vanilla sugar heart packets

not your splenda fake sweetener heaven hidden from the real life society that goes on

inside the walls of vanilla sugar wall veins

   take me into your vanilla sugar arms

and  let me melt into your carbohydrate shell

your glucose and sucrose and all the ose-s

sticky summer vanilla bean ice cream

whipped cream vanilla dreams

baby blue packet

like           baby           bonnets

Nilla Wafers probably have

vanilla sugar

completes my soul like a half-moon penumbra

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