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Oreo (T)


An Oreo is the perfect mash because the cookie that used to be called a biscuit is crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. Hundreds of billions of them have apparently been sold in some 100 countries, and if you’ve tried them you know exactly why. They’re delicious and addictive. But that’s not what I think about when I think about oreo cookies.


Thinking of oreo cookies brings me back to a hot DC basement. It was the summer of ’82 when my roommate and I were wide awake, each of us lying in an army cot, more comfortable than standing up hunched over. We were both faced up, staring at the ceiling and praying for a breeze. It was too hot to talk. But she was a whole lot braver than me and started a conversation.


You know oreo cookies? she said. Black on the outside and white on the inside? You know what I’m talking about?


I remember her voice and how elastic it sounded in the heat but also how sure she was that I could bear the weight of the silence that followed or the burden that I’d be the next one to speak. I felt choked at first. I had no answer. But I was young and a little wild and proud. I represented international – college for foreign. I had to show that I could handle it. So,


Yes, I said, I know what you’re talking about. Bananas are yellow on the outside and white on the inside.


There’s always a little itch after the bandaid comes off. On a skinned knee, you scratch it. In conversation, you laugh a little at the inside joke. We laughed until it hurt. And when we were done, we were kin.


Happy Oreo Day – it’s today, yes, it’s a thing. Saturday the 6th of March, a day to celebrate differences not hide them.


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