casserole for one

the ridiculousness of living alone

I scooped out of the clear glass dish and watched as melted cheese plummeted to the table.

I had just cleaned the damn thing and now it would require another scrub down.

My kitchen island is a “chef” table. It’s a shiny chrome that sits at counter height. I wipe it down and Windex it when I need an extra boost from vanity.

It is 8:16 pm and the sun is only just starting to set. I’ve just come in from the porch in my shorts and loose, button-up shirt. Feet bare. and I have to remind myself of how much I wanted this during Chicago’s impossibly long winter.

I have to remind myself of a lot of things. Of how I’ve wanted to be at this place in life for so long. Of how I can do anything, even when it’s hard. And that the only way out is through.

I am looking for work, and it is hell.

I have done my first 24 hours of being unemployed, and the dread is coloring everything I do.

Will this be one of the last times I put dishes away in this apartmemt?
How much does everything cost outside of rent?
Does anyone else hear how loud the coin counting machine is in this grocery store?

I ask the cashier if I can scan my coupon from the coin machine at self-checkout. It’s two entire dollars less than one I put in and I think about how much I miss paper money. It burns well and I am doing the exact same thing here.

I have napped more today than I have in the past few months. There is no pleasure in the unknown, except in this dreamless bliss I’ve found after taking a break from job searching.

At home, I eat at the table I am so proud of. And I think of how I’m supposed to eat an entire fucking casserole by myself.

I think of how I will roll into the furthest recesses of my couch, window open to let in the human sounds, and wonder:

Who am I when things have been stripped away? When a day has no obligations except for the yawning, razor-sharp toothed mouth of the future?

I don’t really know yet.

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