I dreamt of the Missouri Cheese Caves again.
The keeper there, a man by the name of Wallace, had recently endured another amputation. With but one ear and one good ankle left, he hobbled over to me and took me by the wrist
“These cheeses, my boy. They are here many years. Forgotten by life. They are sharp. They have flavor. THEY ARE BIG AS ME!” As he yelled, the cheese spears dangling above shuddered.
“But their edges, they are green. They – the cheeses – they are here too long. They are here for a reason,” he continued. The ever-present accordion music grew tighter in the distance.
“These cheeses are here because you wish to forget them. You built them. Great teams – teams of MEN – worked together to make them strong. But you think, looking at them, seeing them weep as cheeses weep, seeing the tears, seeing the hurt, seeing the weakness, you think this makes you weak. AND IT DOES.”
He leaned in very close, his wooden teeth reflexively biting at my face hairs.
“It makes you weak. Weak among men. Weak to be among the cheeses.”
“So into the hole. Push them down. Push ME down. Into the hole.”
Tours of the Missouri Cheese Caves are ongoing and available throughout the year. Reservations and deposits may be made at the State of Missouri Department of Correctional Nutrition Website. Families Welcome.