Tracy and I were in the fourth grade when cake frosting in plastic containers became part of supermarket landscapes. We walked through the alley to our local store and into the bakery section, and bought a container. We brought it back to my house. My friend and I climbed inside my bedroom closet and slid the door shut so that it was pitch black inside. We sat side by side with our backs against the wall and each had plastic spoons. Both of us took turns dipping spoonfulls of frosting straight out of the container and into our mouths. We didn’t talk, a quiet communion with sugar. We were both searching for sweetness in our lives.
There is something to be said for creating communion with a friend like we experienced as children. Both of us lived in difficult homes, with parents that were busy with their own lives and not really watching us. We felt like adults taking care of our parents, and at the same time, we knew we were kids. We needed a connection with humanity, with each other, something larger than ourselves.
I’m calling it communion, because we felt the respect and seriousness beyond the act of eating forbidden sugar. There was darkness, surrounding intimacy and quiet that emphasized our deliberation and determination to be together. Neither of us could have explained why we knew it was an unforgettable moment, but both of us still remember sitting and sharing frosting in the closet. Such moments between people are few and far between, but they are the honest human moments that love grows from, and strengthens our character. It was sweet, but not just from sugar. It was more than that. The moment spoke to the fragility of being true friends for life.