National Bacon Day in the Republic of Zanahoria

I ate bacon twice today. My body is a beast, and demands the pork fat. C made me breakfast- I was groggy, woke up in a black mood, the morning wind balmy, the clouded sky more bright than usual. The knock of windchimes heralded spring. C had breakfast nearly ready before I even got out of bed- a pan of roasted roots in the oven, steamed greens, corn tortillas, eggs fried in bacon grease and bacon, perfect crispy strips of lovely, salted, rust-colored bacon. We sat on the front stoop and ate, egg yolk dripping across our plates. We watched the houses across the street, all condemned, where the new sports field for the college will go. The bus went by, grumblingly. C wiped a hand on her sweatpant shorts. Her eyes twinkled like little lights inside her freckled face. Folks passed in front of us on the sidewalk, pushing strollers, going here or there for MLK day. After dishes I walked home under the weather beating the tree limbs, bringing a rounded soft wind with it and the smell of warming soil. My shack was cold- my space heater had broken. We’d spilled water all over my comforter while playing cards in bed and I’d draped it over the space heater to dry. It’d gotten too hot in there and the plastic dial had nearly melted off the thing. Now it seemed stale in my shack, and there was a strange smell, like decomposing leaves. My laundry was everywhere. My books needed reading. There was writing to do.

I couldn’t write. A nameless malaise sat on my head like a wet hat. I set out on bicycle to get a new space heater, carting it home on my rack, strapped down with an old innertube. Now there was warmth again, and the chemical smell of the space heater’s “rust preventative coating” burning off as I turned it on for the first time. I tried to read, but all I could think about was how irritating and unbelievable Oscar Wao’s sister is in the book The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, not that I could write it any better, which of course makes me feel terrible. I turned the book over and wondered how it was that books even got written at all.

There was nothing to do but eat bacon. I was hungry, and there didn’t seem to be any other food in the world that I wanted to eat. I even went to the grocery store, wandered the aisles, looked at delicious foods, both those I was allowed to consume and those I was not. What I really wanted was an entire pint of ice cream, maybe a cheese pizza. But when you are allergic to both gluten and dairy, what do you do? You eat bacon. So I ate my second round crumbled on a kale salad with kimchi and grated beets and carrots. And then after the bacon was gone I suddenly felt weary of everything, again, this black mood like an acrid smoke that clings to my clothing. This day feels old. Tomorrow will be better.