fiction

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

fiber cerealStill rubbing the sleep from his eyes, he staggers to the kitchen. With only a small night light to guide him, he can still see his bowl, which is more like a chowder mug, set out with a spoon and sitting next to the box of cereal. High in fiber, long on life (one hopes). The cereal is poured out, but before he pours in the milk, he needs to get the newspaper. Fortunately, the delivery person is also early-shifted and the paper sits on the porch in its protective plastic sleeve (a boon to dog poop retrievers everywhere). A quick glance at the headlines reveals that we are in the same shit as yesterday (speaking of poop) and that America is not at war with anyone else --  for the moment.

Pulling open the refrigerator door, he grabs the half-gallon of milk, adds it to the cereal and sits down to look more closely at the paper. The munching of the cereal is totally mindless as he is absorbed by the newspaper. He could just as well be eating cardboard. When there is no cereal left in the remaining milk, he knows it’s time to pop an A to Zinc vitamin with a glass of juice.

How did his life turn into the breakfast-lunch-dinner grind? His routine was no better than his cat’s. sleepy catThe only difference was that he didn’t have to depend on relentless meowing and leg rubbing to get something to eat.

A life punctuated by meals. Sleep, eat, work, eat, work, eat, sleep. Is that what we were put on earth to do? The indoor cat had no choice, but the cat also slept sixteen hours out of twenty-four. Humans have more wakeful moments, but what do they do with the time? Sleep, eat, work, eat, work, eat, sleep.

He resigned himself to the revolutionary idea that today would be different. Today, he would do something useful with his time, something that he could point to and say, “I did that, and it was good.” Something that years from now, people would point to with admiration for its quality and value to society.

If only he could think of something that met this criteria, he was certain that it would turn his whole life around. In the meantime, he was a creature of habit.

Only six hours until lunch.

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.

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