How To Buy Cereal

Make sure it’s the end of the day, after you’ve done something exhausting like a workout class called Diesel Blast after something else exhausting like addressing four back to back rounds of client feedback.

Find your nearest grocery store (large, maze-like, crowded). Circle the store several times. Feebly pick up avocados or beans or cheese or cookies. Desperately lift hot sauce, examine it, remember your acid reflux, put it back.

Your shopping basket should be too bulky, too tall, too wide, too pointy, and too heavy. Maybe it’s full of limes. Maybe bowling balls. Definitely something rolly-around-y.

After squishing and stumbling across the floor covered in limes, a wall of flimsy cardboard blocks should rise out of the earth, blocking all other paths.

Stand adjacent to the wall. Flop around like a car dealership balloon man as forms bump past you saying “miss” or grunting passive-aggressively. These forms could be people, people-sized animals, or spectres with a bit of density to them.

Let your eyes go in and out of focus. Absorb the colors/shapes/fictional characters as a massive blur. You’re going to notice the wall is arranged in a gradient of bright color (= sugar) fading into stark white (= health). “Health” means Kashi, which is not a word or a language but a feeling. The feeling of an empty white room, an empty cardboard box. Do you feel empty? You should be feeling very empty as we begin this selection process.

There will be Os. Little Os that make you think of itty bitty buttholes. There will be flakes. Flakes that remind you how we are all shedding our own skin flakes every day, every night, until we die. There will even be a cereal that is just teeny tiny cookies. You will think mmm cookies. But nevermind, your basket is already full of bowling balls and cookies.

A reminder: the playlist coming through your earbuds should have ended long ago. There is no way of knowing how much time has passed, but you are feeling very very cold, and your fingernails have grown two inches.

Decide on something equilateral, like a nice square shape. “Square” comes in a variety of sizes: from very small, so you can gargle dozens at once, to very large, so you can eat one with both hands like a sandwich. That sounds exhausting and you are very, very tired, so pick the most medium-sized squares. Notice you are now standing in a pile of your own skin flakes.

Dust off your flakes and brush the crust from your eye lids. Make your way to the checkout counter. The staff that was once teen-aged should now be solidly middle-aged, but equally indifferent to your presence.

Ah, look. The sun is rising. Well done. The earth has rotated on its axis and you have finally selected the breakfast grain of your choice. Now you may celebrate with one serving on the sidewalk. You earned it!


Image: mroach via Flickr