Cooking For One: Recipes For Lonely People
1 box of pancake mix
2 strips of bacon
Follow the instructions on the box of pancake mix but divide everything in half because an entire box is too much for one person. Cook pancakes until golden brown. Add slices of banana for eyes and make a mouth out of bacon. Pretend this pancake is your friend. Tell your friend about all your plans for the day. Smother your friend in syrup. Eat your friend. Cry because you’re alone.
2 slices of white bread
2 slices of American cheese
Throw out the moldy bread that’s been in your kitchen for three months. Go to the store to buy fresh bread. Be happy you’re around other people. Smile at them and pretend you’re not so alone. Intentionally forget to buy cheese. Tell the cashier to have a good night. Go back to your apartment. Return to store to buy cheese and be with other people. Tell a different cashier to have a good night. Go back to your apartment. Decide you don’t want grilled cheese and leave fresh bread in kitchen for three months. Repeat.
1 bag of tortilla chips
1 tsp salt
Cut avocado and scoop contents into a bowl. Add the juice of half a lime. Mix until avocado is smooth. Realize you’ve been mixing for too long because it feels good to let the aggression out. Add salt to taste. Pair with tortilla chips. Eat the entire bag of tortilla chips while watching Homeland because you’re alone and no one can tell you to stop.
Assorted Dessert Platter
1 half-eaten frozen pumpkin pie leftover from Thanksgiving
1 jar of strawberry jam
2 scoops of freezer-burnt chocolate ice cream
3 mini donuts
3 slightly moldy raspberries
Open your fridge/freezer and eat anything that looks edible. Don’t worry about using utensils. Keep checking your iPhone to see if your friend read that text yet.
1 box of ‘Pad Thai for 2’
2 tbsp jarred Pad Thai sauce
1 red bell pepper
Make peace with the fact that you’re about to eat ‘Pad Thai for 2’ by yourself. Follow the instructions on the box. Cut red bell pepper into strips. Finely dice the onion. Combine them in a large skillet and sauté until tender. See the box of ‘Pad Thai for 2’ in your peripheral vision. Roll your eyes at how the condescending box of Pad Thai is assuming you should be eating with someone else. Throw the box away. Combine noodles and vegetables in a large bowl. Add sauce. Eat while standing at your kitchen counter and staring at the box in the garbage. Throw half of the Pad Thai in the garbage because it is actually meant for two people. Imagine what it would be like if you had someone to share it with. This person would probably have sex with you. Since you’re alone, listen to NPR while doing the dishes and go outside to smoke a cigarette. Tell yourself tomorrow will be better and try to believe it.
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This is the first part of a book that I am writing for Thought Catalog. This is a fiction book about young people in New York City. A lot of it is not fiction, and not made up, because I am not sure if I am very good at making things up.
The sad truth is that even if we were to invest all of our time and resources into making ourselves look like somebody else, most of us would not succeed in complying with the ridiculously unattainable beauty standard created by the media.
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