The connection between jilted lovers
and granola is understandable. The jilted lover does not cook with
enthusiasm. In fact, she's likely to empty out her entire fridge,
ruthlessly dumping any foodstuff that could in any way be associated
with the departed lover. Butter might seem neutral enough. She used
butter before she met her ex. And presumably, if clogged arteries
were not a concern, she could continue using it well into her later
years. But now the stick of butter reminds her of him. Something
that could, if untended, go rancid right before her very eyes. She
throws out all the butter she owns. And all the vegetables and garlic
she might have sauteed in the butter. And all the bread she might
have toasted and served with butter. And all the peanut butter,
because peanut butter is, in a sense, a kind of butter. And she
throws out all the ravioli because it's there. And all the meat,
because she wants to make a change of some sort -- now that change
has found her -- and getting rid of the meat seems like a place
Once her fridge is immaculate, she takes herself to the Fairway.
It's unclear to her what exactly vegetarians eat. All day,
every day. But breakfast, at least, seems non-controversial enough.
She cruises the granola aisle, studying each of the possible variants.
Pecan. Cinnamon raisin. Original. Unoriginal. Organic. With and
without cranberries. After carefully weighing the pros and cons,
she settles on the unoriginal original walnut raisin. She shyly
picks her head up to see if there are any handsome granola-lovers
in the vicinity with whom to make small talk. Who knows what else
they might have in common with a launching pad like granola to jumpstart
In the fruit aisle of the Fairway, she crafts her next personals
ad. Aging female with granola fetish seeks an age-appropriate single
guy. Period. But then she begins to embellish. It would help if
he were employed, and had all his limbs. Fat is icky. Dumb
is deadly. The list goes on and on, she realizes. It is too painful
to want anything, in truth. And so she picks a peach from the fruit
aisle, though in her past life, before she was a vegetarian, she
hated peaches. It is possible that she's been wrong about peaches.
At the register, she sees a handsome man with two different
kinds of granola in his cart, original and something else she can't
quite make out. She feels him looking at her looking at his selections
and averts her gaze. Does he smile, or does she just imagine it?
Without her glasses it's impossible to tell. She collects her change,
and heads for the Number 1 train.
Tomorrow, she may rethink everything. She may go back to the
Fairway to check out the fish. The tuna steaks and the swordfish
and the salmon. Fish without heads. Maybe the next day she'll buy
a rack of lamb. She may want to sink her teeth into things again.
It's possible. But for the moment, she's a vegetarian heading downtown
on the Number 1.