The egg carton is down to three already; the slow pillage has begun.
Ten minutes in any direction from a reliable source of protein,
his car breaks down. A thread from the uphostered ceiling
detatches, grazes his nose. His face salts up the steering wheel while his
stomach pulls uppercuts and starts mocking.
why are you hitting yourself? why are you hitting yourself?
The juice is tasting vinegary, but we are not sure; that may
just be because it is organic.
His phone crunches and buzzes out beneath his boot. Instantly
indistinguishable from the surrounding pebbles and weeds. He
does not regret this destruction of a false hope; relatives did not answer,
the local parish was pre-recorded and AAA is a cruel myth told to children.
They wander around, opening cupboards and closing them
and opening them again just in case. One person takes a dirty spoon
off the counter and thrusts it into an open jar of peanut butter, scraping, digging.
By this time, he thinks, he could have just walked to a store,
but how would he heft the bags, squishing shifting with irritating
plastic sounds, all the way back to the house, what is ten minute drive
in walking time? It is too late now, staring at the ground, driver's side open,
a lone truck passes but does not stop, a lovers-bearing convertible
does the same. Everything he thought he knew about human kindness . . .
Where is he? One of them asks, taking off their shoe? He was supposed
to be back by now. This is not enough eggs. The other smears bacon grease
all up and down the last piece of bread and divides it amongst
us like a miracle. We are far past breakfast time now.
The cars on the highway pass more frequent now, one even stops
but he waves them on. It is too late. His car will rust right there on the
yellow line. He holds his face, even when the state-mandated towers
latch their hooks to the bumper; reckless endangerment and a guilty plea sounding like:
all I wanted
were some real hand-smoked links.
breakfast is the most important meal of the day, you know.