Episode Four — Chicken
Supplies are low. The pots sit silently on the stove. We are tearing paper towels in half as we have not been able to buy a single roll anywhere. Toilet paper has been rationed. We have taken the cardboard center of toilet rolls past and used them to split-up and rewind the remaining roll between the four of us. Robert, my 22-year-old son, simply uses way too much of it to keep a single sharable roll.
We are well supplied with soap but started using the good whiskey to disinfect. Soap just doesn’t seem strong enough and the experts all seem to recommend using alcohol to kill this thing. To preserve paper towels, we pour whiskey on the counter and scrub it clean with our fingernails and hands. Although we are an hour north of New York City, it is beginning to smell like a town on the fringe of the wild west. We are desperate for paper of any kind.
Robert stood in front of the refrigerator. Both doors were fully open with his arms hanging and lifeless from the handles. His head drooped and the light emanating from inside the storage area was brilliant. All that stood in the way of this magnificent glow was a bottle of ketchup, four pieces of rotted fruit, and a donut with a tinge of mold. A deep sigh came out. Finally, he shut the doors and walked away.
It took less than 30 seconds for him to repeat this ritual. I was sure he was waiting for a bit of magic to fill it up each time the doors swung open. I walked up behind him.
“You know what’s amazing? I never thought that donuts from a drive-thru went bad. That thing’s been in there two weeks. Any maggots?”
He slammed both doors shut.
“GRANDMA! What’s wrong with you? How could you let this happen? There’s nothing to eat in this damn restaurant! You came here with a shipping container of meat and you let this happen!”
“Don’t blame me,” she replied. “Your father won’t take me shopping. He thinks I’m gonna die.”
Robert walked over to his Grandmother and stood in front of her, putting his towering presence upon her. His large hands wrapped around her narrow shoulders. “You don’t even have a friggin’ bowl of soupee left in here! What the hell is going on? Wake up! This is a nightmare!”
“ROBERT!” Stacy yelled. “Stop shaking your Grandmother. She can’t go shopping. There is…