Wait until it’s hot. Really hot. So hot that you can’t contemplate turning on a single burner on your worn-out, explosion-ready stove. And yet, you do. Because you know there are hotter places in the universe and besides, you’ve been told you have a cold, cold soul. You are a stone-cold cunt, unloved and childless, and no one wants you. You will die alone. For a whore like you, it’s never not a perfect time to cook.
Put a pan on the burner. Turn off the TV and turn on some music. Something that makes you remember your teenage years, or perhaps college, when you were young and supple and everything was possible and the world was yours for the taking. Except you were just too fucking lazy/stupid to take it, weren’t you. Pour yourself a gigantic glass of wine, or whiskey or whatever poison you desire. Turn the burner on. Watch the numbers on the thermostat rise. Stick out your tongue.
In your refrigerator, the three-decade-old mechanical creature that half-preserves your food at the expense of over half your utility bill, take out a small carton of that egg stuff that you bought in a fit of delusion when you thought you were going to lose all that weight and get thin and beautiful again and maybe someone just SOMEONE would fall in love with you again, or at least fall in lust with and fuck you, so that you wouldn’t die someday with the knowledge that the last thing in your vagina was cancer, or the fingers of some imperious physician looking for the night-blossoming tumor that will undoubtedly end your life. Take out the half-eaten block of cheddar, the tomatoes, the small pack of meat, and whatever else is uneaten, unused. Forgotten. Take anything out of the refrigerator that reminds you of yourself. That’s all that’s required to make this meal.
Out in the streets, beautiful young shirtless men in oversized boxers set off illegal fireworks. They soar and scream, and sparks of bright blue-green fall like alien fireflies over the rooftops. Your life is so fragile in this slender slip of a building, so meaningless, everything so ready to ignite and disappear. Refill your glass, refresh it with ice cubes filled with invisible carcinogens that rushed through the one hundred and fifty year old taps of the faucet that filled the trays. Throw the vegetables and meats into the pan, and watch them brown and curl and dry. Ignore the storm gathering behind your brow, the slithering clouds of migraine, the drunken ache. Take the block of cheddar and rub it against the metallic raised holes of the mandolin. Rub and rub and rub, wear it down until it is a useless nub of nothingness. Rub it down until it reminds you of your soul.
Throw the rest of the vegetables into the pan, along with the cheddar. Empty the carton of fake eggs into the pan, taking pleasure in how the rivers of yellow coagulate and congeal, slow to an antediluvian standstill. You know this, you know how the world works. You know the fucking score. The universe will flick us away like nothing, like less than dust. You’ve seen it in the mountains you grew up in, in the ragged raped scars of the land. You are nothing, and you and you and YOU are nothing, too. Take your grandmother’s spatula, the one she got from her grandmother in North Dakota, the instrument with the unbreakable wooden handle and metal surface as indestructible as a female sun, and stir. Turn the mess over and over again, until it’s burned. Listen to the fireworks soar.
When the thermostat refuses to tell you the temperature, when the refrigerator shuts down, when trickles of sweat run from your ears between the valleys of your unwanted breasts, when the ice has melted in your drink, when your skin itches because it cannot breath and all the insects retreat into the walls and the drop ceiling blisters in pain and you realize that no one will ever eat from your dishes you are alone always alone and unloved unwanted a fucking empty womb of a bitch a walking cemetery of unborn ideas and lives and there is nothing after death no god no dogs nothing but the dark and not even the knowing that all that was the best of you was left behind only an endless foreverness of nothing nothing NOTHING and everything you ever were is gone: turn off the stove. Spoon the mass of food into bowls and/or containers, making sure each portion is equal to the others as if it matters, as if anyone gives a flying fuck. Cover and put into the refrigerator: you’ll eat those in the days to come, breakfast before work. You don’t eat anything now, because you’re not hungry. You never were.
Put the dishes in the sink. Watch the numbers on the thermostat fall. Turn off the music. Sit on the rickety chair in your kitchen, wiping the sweat from your breasts and brow. Drink. Listen to the fireworks, flare up and out and over, up and out and over. Up, and out, and gone. Listen to the building settle. Just like you. Wait for your prince, your knight, your hero, your king, to save you from what you have made. You are patient, like your god. Lick the tears and sweat from your lips.
Realize he’s never going to come.
Realize he doesn’t have to.
Watch the sun go down.
.Originally published at Livia Llewellyn.