A Post Break-Up Meal Plan (Kipling)

Day one: Get out of bed. Go into the kitchen. Make coffee. Open the fridge. Open the freezer. Check each of the cupboards and review the contents of the bowl on the counter. Skip breakfast. Scald your tongue with coffee. Have an extra cup. Drink lots and lots of water. Room temperature water. No ice. Skip lunch. Drink more water; rinse out all your insides. Take a shower and let the water catch you directly in the face with your eyes closed. Open your mouth and feel the water hit your teeth, take it into your mouth, blow it out in an arc. Do it again. Don't let the water go up your nose. After the shower, sit on the couch in your robe. Have a cup of tea with your hair still wet. Consider a piece of toast. Reconsider. Go to back to bed. Feel your stomach pull up tight to your rib cage - let it be as empty as your heart.

Day two: Pour a few Cheerios in a bowl. Not that bowl. A different bowl. Pour just a little milk in. Is the milk still good? Smell the milk. Take a small bite. Chew slowly. Swallow. Put the bowl on the floor for the dog. Go to work. Have more tea. More water. At lunch contemplate the Trader Joe's Trek Mix in your desk drawer. Separate out all the sweetened dried cranberries, the chocolate dipped fruit bits, the cashews. Throw them away. Eat only the unsalted, unroasted whole almonds. Eat 8 of them. Eat 4 more. After work take a long walk. Force yourself to glug a glass of water. Start in on the wine. Start with white. For dinner have a bowl of Corn Chex. Yes, the milk is fine. Switch to red wine. Take four X-tra Strength Tums and 3 Advil. Glug another glass of water. Try to be, have X-tra strength. 

Day three: More Cheerios. It's the end of the box. Make a cereal mud from the crumbs and the last of the milk. Skip lunch. Rethink skipping lunch. Microwave a bag of Movie Theater Butter Popcorn. Eat the whole bag. Drink a can of LaCroix Coconut and a can of LaCroix Lemon Lime to counteract the sodium and "butter." For dinner make a box of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. Dump a bag of frozen mixed vegetables into the water as the noodles boil. Mix grated Parmesan into the cheese powder. Use half & half instead of milk. Eat the entire concoction while watching episodes of Frasier, season 7. Consider hosting a radio advice show. Consider hosting a cable cooking show for singles. Cooking for One. 

Day four: Cut a meaty slice off a loaf of whole grain bread. Toast. Slather with cold marmalade. Sit on the back porch, squint into the morning sun. Take a deep breath in. Try not to make it a sigh when you blow it back out. Fish around with your finger, find any remnants of bitter orange peel between your teeth. Drink your coffee black. Finish up that Trek mix. Go home early. Have a beer at 4. Have another at 6. Order Thai take-out. Ask for two sets of chopsticks and two fortune cookies when you pick it up. Eat spicy noodles and green curry while you watch episodes of Ally McBeal, season 1. Consider never eating again, so you can be as skinny and cute as mid-90s Calista. Rethink. 

Day five: Melt a tablespoon of butter in a pan. Toast one cup of Scottish stone ground oats in the butter. Add 3 cups of water and 1 cup of milk and simmer until done. Maybe an hour. Spoon into a bowl. Glop. Draw a heart with Sriracha sauce on top. Disappear the heart with your spoon. Disappear it with your teeth. 

Day six: Roast a big, beautiful chicken. Rub the skin all over and under with butter and herbs from your garden. Roast it until it's golden and glistening. Let it cool. Pull it apart with your hands. Pull all the meat off, from the legs, the breasts, the thighs. Sink your fingers between the bones and dismember it. Find the wishbone, place it between your teeth and suck off the juicy meat; grip it between your thumbs, and snap it, but not before you make a wish. A big one. Savor a bite of the crispy skin, let the fat linger on your lips. Submerge the chicken carcass in a big pot of water. Add carrots, celery, onion, more herbs, peppercorns and a Parmesan rind. Cook for hours and hours and hours. Strain the stock. Saute more carrots, celery, onion. Add the stock, the torn up chicken, simmer. Boil egg noodles, drain. Pile some noodles in the bottom of a bright blue bowl. Ladle in the soup. Eat at the dining room table, candles lit. Read your New Yorker. Soothe your sadness with soup. Fill your stomach, let it overflow a little into your heart. 

Day seven: Make a batch of pistachio oat cookies. In Memorium. Give them all away.