There I was. Halfway through marrying two types of pasta in a boiling pot. The way people running out of pasta do. Glad the water is already paid for, with last month’s rent. An empty can of tuna on the counter. Not cleaned up from lunch. Why do I even buy tuna? I never cook it, but it was on sale when I grocery shopped 55 times ago. It stands stacked ten cans high in my pantry for months until I’m too poor to buy any other kind of meat. The way people running out of money do.
I’m looking for a sauce in my pantry, any sauce, any kind, I scan through the cans. The tuna now stacked two cans high. Damn. That’s a lot of tuna. And I never cook tuna. Until lately. Tuna with box mac n cheese. Tuna with can of baked beans. Tuna with an egg. One egg. Not enough eggs to be cooking two. Lucky tonight she wants spaghetti. Lucky I had a blind eye turned to a half plastic sack pumped full of breakfast sausage. Sage flavor. Expired. Four days ago. Fourteen percent sodium. Twenty-five percent fat. Thirty percent of that saturated. I won’t add salt.
Guilty conscience in the background begging to wave hi. Wanting to talk about the percentages on the Jimmy Dean package. Wanting to talk about my day nap. Maybe mention the workout tights I wear that hadn’t seen the gym. Today. Just today. I worked out this week. More than once. Guilty conscience is still waving hi.
I stocked on trash bags forever ago. Day nap has me recharged. I take out the trash and clean up the kitchen, including the empty tuna can. Spaghetti is almost done. The cat is perched on the bar top, he watched me clean. Watched me throw away the tuna can. To him it’s fancy tuna. No, no, I waved my finger at him as if he’d actually said something. “This tuna is for us.” This is our poor tuna. Not your fancy tuna.
I was tired because I didn’t drink coffee in the morning. Stupid you, says the coffee. Thinking you can function without me. Without him I’m leaving empty cans of tuna around the house. Even when I take my dog outside, there sitting on the steps to the apartment above. A can of tuna. Empty, not full. To fuel my guilty conscience. I head back inside, my home of sausage spaghetti. My home of taken out trash. My home with only two cans of tuna.
Poor tuna not fancy.