Monday, July 21, 2014

Part 4

Total suckage.  I fell asleep and drooled all over my notebook.  At least I didn't wake up to a puss brain drooling all over me.  I guess I was so tired or wasted or whatever that the five-hour drink didn't work.  Or maybe that stuff is getting old and losing its oomph.  I know that after watching one of the girls in our group die of food poisoning I learned to be real careful and read the labels of stuff to see when it expired.  Guess I need to check the exp dates on everything again just to be on the safe side.

It will give me something to do because right now I'm not going anywhere.  It's raining and I betcha by the time it stops it will be too close to getting dark again.  I stepped out of my refuge to take care of business in the rain and I saw quite a few puss brains heading the way I had come the day before.  That's when I noticed there was an extra pee-you to the air despite the rain and turned to see a great big tower of smoke coming from downtown.  Something is on fire, something big.  The rain doesn't look like it is putting it out.

Fire is one of the things that freaked Doc out and would get him drinking.  He worried that someone would start a fire, lose control of it, and it would "engulf the entire city and leave us with no escape except to jump into the river and try and swim across."  Then he would shudder because of course Doc can't swim.  It was one of his phobias.

But hey, Mom always said there was no loss without some small gain and boy did I gain when I picked this office to hole up in.  It didn't look like much to begin with.  This area of town was kinda rundown before, but since they closed the city off it has got even worse.  And there's enough people left in the city, and enough time has passed, that most places have been turned inside out for edibles and drugs.  The front area had been worked over already and I was flush so all I was really looking for was a place to sleep.

I stumbled into the back area and it took me a while to figure out that this placed must have been some kind of stock and supply business ... the kind that filled vending machines, gumball machines, and candy counters.  Holy diabetic shock Batman, I hit the mother load.

My brother Toddie and his friends were like junk food aficionados.  Dad thought it was a riot, Mom not so much.  Geez those guys would come up with the craziest things in scouts.  For example, their troop had this cooking contest and one of the areas was called "microwave breakfast."  It was supposed to get the guys more self-sufficient but I think it was just a way for them to goof off and gross each other out.  Only as gross as the recipe Toddie and his team came up with it actually tasted pretty good.  Even Mom admitted it.  And it only took three ingredients:  a small bag of frito chips, a box of cracker jacks, and a little bit of marshmallow fluff.

First they pulverized the chips until they were basically just powder.  Then they mashed the cracker jacks until they were small bits.  From there you added enough fluff to the "frito powder" to make a really dense paste which you then microwaved for fifteen seconds.  You took that out of the microwave, topped it with some smashed cracker jacks and a dollop of fluff and you wound up with what they called "fluffy grits with caramel crumble."  It should have been totally gross.  It wasn't.  I later found out that it wasn't even their recipe exactly but one they read in this book called "Junk Foodie" or something like that.

My back pack is now so stuffed I won't absolutely have to look for edibles for quite a while ... maybe a whole three weeks.  'Course I will anyway if I get the chance.  Never look a gift horse in the mouth and food is a gift of sorts these days.  People in the city are going to be starving soon.  Some might already be.  The Puss Brains will run out of people and stuff to eat and then they'll find some way out of the city come heck or high water.  Will it happen tomorrow?  I don't think so, especially not with the horde to keep them entertained.  Could it happen before winter gets here?  Maybe but the puss brains kinda get slow during really cold weather.  Will it have happened by spring?  Yeah ... yeah I am pretty sure it will happen by then.  And I want to be gone and hiding some place safe before that happens.

Guess what I ate for lunch?  Never mind, you'll never guess.  French onion soup!  ROFL!  The last time I had it was the day Mom and I ... never mind.  It's a good memory but one that hurts too much to write down.  But this particular soup I ate was another one of Toddie's experiments.  You take onion rings ... like Funyuns or those that Utz sells ... and a small bag of Cheetos.  Yes, I said Cheetos.

Directions for Toddie's French onion soup:  place twelve onion rings in a bowl and cover them with two cups of water of boiling water.  Then you mash the heck out of the Cheetos sprinkle that over the top of the soggy onion rings and let it sit just long enough for a lot of the hot water to get absorbed.  Then you close your eyes and pretend you aren't totally grossed out and eat it.  It really isn't bad.  Pretty salty though and it makes you thirsty.  But at least it doesn't cramp my guts all up like eating another can of beans would.

And for dessert I had what Dad used to call a Virgin Black Russian.  You mix a bottle of Yoohoo chocolate drink with a can of Coca-cola and then you use a Twizzler as a straw.  Mom hated them and not even Toddie liked them but to Dad and I they were "our" drink.  Sometimes, when he would have to work odd hours, he would come home really stressed out about a case.  My bedroom was right across from the kitchen because it used to be the old laundry room and I would hear him moving around.  He would always tell me to go back to bed but I would make us "our" drink and we would sit in the kitchen and not talk.  But I think it made him feel better all the same.  When our glasses were empty and we were done not talking he would say, "Better clean these up and put them away so your mother doesn't wake up to dirty dishes."  We'd do what needed doing and then he'd make sure I was tucked back in bed and he'd go slowly down the hallway.

I wound up crying half way through my dessert and blowing snot bubbles.  I don't cry very much anymore, not near as much as the men in the group used to accuse me of, but once in a while you just have to let it out or you're gonna blow up.

Tomorrow I'm gonna have to move whether it is still raining or not.  I peeked out the back door of this place and the fire is getting bigger.  Not a lot but it has definitely spread.  In fact, I think I'm going to go ahead and pack up and see how far I can get.  I can't wear my skates or I'll break my neck, but I can at least get a little further along.  Maybe a lot further along.

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