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Chapter 3: Pierogies

…Continuing NaNoWriMo Story 2020–21

I never finished the pierogies that day.

The day started off to a rough start, with what some would argue was far too much to drink before noon. What can I say, I got caught watching the news and kept pouring myself fingerfulls of whiskey. I also opened a packet of country peppered gravy, and used it as a sauce over frozen ravioli for lunch. Sometimes you just have to make do with what you have, don’t you? I drink and smoke and eat shit with my cats. You don’t understand? Don’t even bother, I’m sorry.

My customers would just have to wait until dinner for their hot potato pies, they were not going to be ready by lunch. I ran a hand through my short, spiky hair and rubbed a little bacon grease through it to give it some volume for the day. I looked at myself in the kitchen sink mirror, admiring my hook nose the bulky silver studs adorning either nostril.

I started the pierogies around 10 am, peeling potatoes with my old, slightly dull knife.

I don’t know if I need to go into detail about what came a few hours later. The fire. The yelling. The running. The adrenaline. What do you want? Me to say that heaven and hell fell apart? The raging forest fire got so close so fast that it scorched the hair on our arms? Good god. I don’t know what kind of person I am, but I’m not the person to give that to you. We can skip that. What are you? A child? Who asks these questions?

All you need to know is that half of the pierogies got baked, and about a forth of the baked ones got taken on the road, carried in the pockets of myself and three customers who happened to be dining in my restaurant at the time.

Now I’m currently out on the road with these fools, eating cold pierogies on the road while we try to hitch a ride. It’s the West Coast, isn’t it? Shit like this happens. I just never thought it would happen to me, coinciding with this time of political bullshit.

*

My earliest memories are from Russia, where I used to be known as Baba Yaga. My appearance is just as ambiguous as my whims. I may save you from a terrible fate ahead of you in life, or I may eat your children. It’s all part of the game, the game that has gotten tiresome for me in the past years in Oregon. I have “mellowed out,” as the kids like to say here, but that doesn’t mean that I am a different person. Of course I exist outside of time and immortality, but time had recently taken a toll on me, and I got the sense that my mortality might be showing, as well.

That thing about flying around on a mortar and pestle though? Complete bullshit I never did that, scrape it from your mouth and memories.

Why was I ever in Oregon in the first place, and where was I headed now? Are you fucking kidding me? Your guess is as good as mine. Am I god, a demon, or nothing in particular? Existential thought gets me irritated and just makes me want to drink. Let me go sit on the back porch and have a few smokes.

I prefer to keep things in simple black and white and not overthink. The world has always been a terrible place for thinking too hard.

And now I’m currently having my first prolonged “human bath” in years. I managed to grab my thermos of whiskey before fleeing from the fire, but I’m not telling the other three about that. Plus, they will like me a lot more as long as I have the whiskey to myself. I know how to use it properly. One of them is already crying, also. Jesus. They seem to think that we are “in this together” and they want to stick together and share resources. Fat hell, that. I already shared my pierogies.

midwestern librarian, writer, activist. subscribe — http://eepurl.com/cZoiG9

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