(At 2.35pm on Monday, my house caught on fire. Here’s what you think about when your house catches on fire.)
Last night, Jen and I went to Target. The day before were the base necessities: a bra (I’d run out of the house — sick and in bed in my pajamas all day — without one and was wearing a sports bra from the laundry hamper I’d somehow had the foresight to grab). Shoes. Socks. Underwear. A suitcase to start my couch-hopping career.
Next up: food. I now think of my life in terms of two realities: before the fire and after the fire. We went to Target to get as many basics as possible when it occurred to us that we still had to do something as mundane as eat.
I stood in front of the breakfast aisle and stared hard. It took a full minute to realize I had no idea what I used to eat for breakfast. Cereal? That seemed like an obvious choice. Did I used to eat cereal? I think so. Wait … not for a long time. Not cereal. Okay, then. What do people normally eat for breakfast? Maybe I ate that. People eat eggs. Yes! Sometimes I ate eggs.
Oatmeal! That was it. I ate oatmeal. (You realize just how wrong your country’s food culture is when it occurs to you that American convenience foods are perfect for someone who’s just lost everything in a house fire) I grabbed a box of instant oatmeal. I also grabbed a loaf of bread, but toast is too complicated right now, and requires too much thought where I’m staying. We ran out of paper towels, I can find the plates and I need an advanced degree to work the toaster. Instant oatmeal it is.
For three meals this week, I’ve eaten turkey or buffalo jerky and Wheat Thins for lunch or dinner. If I could attach an IV drip so I didn’t have to eat at all, I would do it. I believe the only vegetable I’ve eaten has been a slice of avocado and lettuce on a burger two nights ago. We’ve been trying to soothe our raw, smoky throats with a daily dose of frozen yogurt. I will need to lose 10 pounds after this, I’m sure, but I don’t care right now.