To my dearly departed gluten.
We had a beautiful 30-something years together.
We first bonded over Vegemite toast. And licking cake batter from the bowl.
Then we moved on to chicken nuggets and fish fingers. Cereal and pancakes. Sausage sizzles and jaffles. You were the soldiers to my eggs. You accompanied me to school and were waiting for me at the tuck shop.
It’s true: throughout the rest of my teens and 20s, you were always there for me. At the service station. On the street corner. In the office. At 2am at the kebab shop. At the drive-thru. Any time I needed you, I could always find you. You never hid from me.
And there’s no doubt about it: You always made me happy. So sweet, so comforting. I reached for you when everything else was going wrong. I celebrated with you. I commiserated with you.
There are some memories I will never forget. Warm baguettes with ham and cheese in Paris. High tea in London. Lobster rolls in New York. Pies at the football. Dagwood Dogs at the Ekka. Pizza everywhere, always.
If I’m honest, there was a period when our relationship became unhealthy. You weren’t good for me, but I sought you out anyway. A cheeky chocolate biscuit here, a slice of lasagne there. There was one memorable night when I paid $25 for a mac and cheese at a pub, just to flirt with you. And like so many of our dalliances at that time, it ended in disaster.
The hardest times were when you were oh so cool, and everyone was talking about you. The cupcakes! The American-imported doughnuts! Even over the past few months, when I saw people lining up around the corner for you (on top of a milkshake of all things), I was jealous.