I remember the first time I had jalepeno poppers. I want to say they were from Rutt’s Hut, but I don’t recall Rutt’s ever making jalepeno poppers…Anyway, I must’ve been no more than 14 or 15 (maybe 16) and over a friend’s house (my best friend at the time). Not sure if it was evening or night, weekend or weekday. But I remember wooden floors and panelling and his father’s reassurance that I would like the poppers, having never tried them before. And he of course, was right. They were creamy and salty and spicy and delicious; and it was hard to stop! Thankfully as years went on I became lactose-intolerant and more calorie conscious (not that doesn’t stop me from enjoying life on occasion though) that consuming the delectable fried concoction was never something I found myself much tempted with ever again. That, and the fact that I didn’t want to have coronary before the age of 30. But on this evening/night, food had been ordered because we were having a game night. I remember sitting at the wooden dining room table with a few other friends; The shuffling of the deck, soda carbonation popping and fizzing in our cups, laughter and teasing. Socks on our feet, not tired, not conscious of the time. There might have been snacks laid out to further indulge on. Pizza might have been consumed also along side chips and pretzels. These privileged spoils of childhood that were not permitted in my own home, so I took advantage of them when I could get them. Back when I didn’t feel (or was conscious) of my own chubbiness and Domino’s Pizza (or any pizza for that matter) wasn’t a death sentence for me to consume. Poker chips out, the rip of the card deck, the muffled shuffle that ensued. The wick wick wick of cards being dealt in rapid succession. The self-righteous and self-determination at winning. As I glance around this memory, I recall pictures of my friend and his brother along the walls when they were so much younger than their teenage selves. The memory is giddy, happy one; devoid of drugs or alcohol or disagreement. Just us, the games, and the food with no consequences; Staying safe.