“That looks disgusting.” I was home for lunch. For the third time this winter, my work closed because of a snowstorm. Today’s was a pretty good one. By eleven o’clock we had four inches of fluffy snow. Looking out the window, a somewhat opaque veil added an inch or two each hour. Home for lunch and not going back.
“God, are you really going to eat that?” We knew this storm was coming, we planned for everyone to be home at lunchtime, but we didn’t stock up. I even went to the grocery store last night on my way home from work. I needed milk for my morning cereal. But I didn’t buy anything for lunch.
The store was packed. Moms and dads coming home from work, college students prepping for parties, families arguing over which chips to buy. Everyone readying for the storm. I bought my milk and got out. Crowded parking lots freak me out, and the grocery lot was full. People were parking on the street. When I back out of a space, I never know who’s around me. I don’t understand how others do it. I check my mirrors and all of the windows, but I’m still terrified I’ll run someone down. This isn’t an irrational fear. Every time I back out, a pedestrian is there, waiting to be hit.
When there’s nothing for lunch, I’ll have a scramble. Leftovers, rice or potatoes stir-fried in oil with whatever meat is tupperwared in the fridge. No meat today, I added some eggs. Rice and eggs are a bland combination, I threw in a can of black beans. When I open beans, my tabby, Roz always comes running. Sound asleep, two rooms away, the almost silent task of opening a can shakes her awake and beckons. Years ago, I ate canned tuna now and then. Each time, I’d strain the water from the can for Roz to drink. She’s conditioned to come even though I haven’t eaten tuna in three years.
Susan and I eat the rice, eggs and beans. An unattractive combo, slathered in hot sauce, agitating my kids. Eli says, “Dad, can you make me one of those… without the beans.”
Properly fueled, we ignore the pleas of our public representatives, We drive the snowy roads to the trail-head. We hike in an icy rain.