The Weight of Nothing
It's strange, but as I walked into Gristede's to buy a few basics, I realized I'd never been to that particular grocery store without having N in mind. As I strolled the aisles, I felt weightless -- moreso than I ever had there. I immediately remembered all the times I went food shopping in hopes of making N happy -- running around frantically with a plastic basket, tossing in Bisquick and syrup (if he ever wanted pancakes), eggs (to show him I could, in fact, scramble), coffee (for our many mornings together), Coke (I only drink Diet).
I had never bought food just for me, even though I live alone. So, it was with a sense of strength that I lugged home my girly purchases (nonfat yogurt, Lean Cuisine meals, strawberries, bananas...). I opened my refrigerator and looked inside. More than half of the interior was him: leftover homemade salad dressing from when I cooked him dinner, a can of Red Bull just in case he was ever tired before we went out drinking, a half-empty Pepsi can he mixed with Jack Daniel's last weekend, superchocolatey ice cream I picked because I knew he'd like it.
I threw all the leftovers away and replaced them with today's haul. Afterward, my refrigerator looked remarkably normal. And my apartment felt more "me": a emotional coup I don't take lightly.