June 27th


I still have not made the Enchilada Casserole. It is not because it is a complicated recipe, being more complicated than anything I have made previously, or because carrying the skillet to my house sprained my shoulder, or because the ground beef has gone off because I left it to thaw in the sink for eight days and didn’t notice despite the strong smell, or because I keep having reoccurring nightmares about being five and adults telling me to swallow the over-chewed food in my mouth even though for some reason I couldn’t, and not because I misplaced some, if not all the ingredients that go in the casserole.

It is not because of these things. It is because I haven’t been very hungry recently. In fact, the last time I ate was Thursday, three days ago. This is a little unusual, but I’m sure I’ll get my appetite back soon.

Last night I watched a documentary about the funeral industry. Apparently a large amount of people die alone and without family. These people get cremated in city-funded crematoria and all their unclaimed belongings are sold off at a fraction of their original value in an auction. The auction looks like a Salvation Army thrift store, but where you’re certain all the previous owners of the items are dead.

I mentioned this to the ‘Corporate Emotions Councilor‘ that I have to see once a week. I had just finished talking about the different efficiency-to-cost-to-weight ratios of the various napkins types available to us via our office equipment supplier. She said she was listening but appeared to be in deep concentration because her eyes were closed.

When I mentioned this, she opened her eyes suddenly and started hastily flipping through her notes. She then interrupted me as I was reaching my conclusion regarding the obvious superiority of the slightly smaller Mark IV napkins due to their dispersed fiber construction. She asked me if I thought about death a lot, and looked quite excited. Her facial expression reminded me of my Great Aunt Clementine when she realized that one of the many, many items she had piled high up on the kitchen counters finally had a valid use.

I responded that I do not think about death too often. The last time was several years ago, but I had a strong cup of coffee and had felt better. There was a long pause. She then appeared to suddenly think of another question, and asked me if my parents were still alive. I said I wasn’t sure. I had sent a postcard to them eleven years ago and not received a response. It was a nice postcard I had purchased from the Lawnmower Museum, showing a picture of the first ever steam-powered lawnmower invented by Mr Sumner in Lancaster in 1893. I did not receive a response, even though a return address was included. The postcard was made of heavy cardboard so I had put five stamps on it to be sure it was not rejected for incorrect postage. This only left enough space on the card for small message that said ‘I am at the museum.”

The Corporate Emotions Councillor suddenly looked like a pool inflatable where someone had opened the valve. I utilized the remaining part of the session to discuss the redundant variety of plastic forks in the cafeteria. She appeared to resume her deep concentration techniques. I am finding these sessions quite useful.

My father liked lawnmowers. He had a green one and it sounded like a small emphysemic helicopter. It wasn’t very good at cutting grass and sort of just pushed it over, but he didn’t seem to mind.