Breakfast sacrament that is unique in shape, in form. Branded General Mills religion being poured into a bowl, nutritious value and point always suspect. But there is something interesting about how its competitors cannot compete. Competing products are not identical. These crisp Os. It is oaty and earthy and crunchy. Their non-sweetness makes me want to reach back in the box and pop another handful in my mouth, in the bowl. Breakfast time when the sun comes up. Where I am not hungry, but excited to eat. We used to have this Cheerios bowl that was red and in the shape of a heart. Plastic that became worn and the color dulled. But we used the hell out of that bowl for morning cereal. What do I want for breakfast this fine morning? I think of oatmeal and Cream of Wheat. Cereal. But do I add berries or fruit? Maple syrup and cinnamon? Always on the precipice of FOMO. Always on the precipice of Murphy’s Law. Leftover lentils spilled on the floor and carpet, somehow launching themselves from the fridge. Before the hardwood floors were installed. That sound of the cardboard box being grabbed, the opening of the top, rustle of the bag, and the higher pitched sound of the Os hitting the porcelain bowl, filling up, glissando in pitch, until in reaches the top. The low noise of liquid saturation as milk is poured over the top and they all rise more, gain in height. I like my cereal crunchy as possible, so I don’t wait, but dig in right away. Spooning this American tradition to my mouth, intermissions with gulps of coffee. The top of my mouth becoming mildly irritated at this combination of milk and O’s. I’m not sure why, but it happens sometimes. I imagine a diver on the lip of the their board, springboarding into this bowl complete with Speedo goggles and bathing cap. One-piece bathing suit. Childhood folders and notebooks with the swimmer on the cover. Some uncredited athlete that signed some likeness deal. Brand recognition and acceptance. We do not set the table for breakfast, but to each their own unless pancakes, french toast, or bacon are on the horizon. To each their own, endless possibilities. I grin and crunch and chew and swallow. The original Cheerios.