Packing Lunch

I can’t recall the name of my first pet. It was a rather big dog, white fur. He lived outside the small trailer in the corner of the lot until he died in the hot sun. I’m not sure if you’ve ever seen what happens to dogs who die on the side of the road on a Texas sun. They lie motionless on the pavement, their bodies warm--growing warmer. All these sorts of bacteria grow inside them, making their bellies bloated and almost larger than their bodies. Then something really gross happens and they explode. I’m probably lying about the exploding part. And most likely my first pet didn’t lay in the grass until he exploded. But he died out there.

Things weren’t any easier inside our home, we lived in a larger trailer. Think long rectangle, with three bedrooms and two baths. One living room and one kitchen/dining area. If it was any warm outside, inside fared the same with our lack of air conditioning and poor ventilation. At one point we had a tall refrigerator, you know the likes. Top door, bottom door. Freezer, cool nonfreezer area. It was green like the pale greens of the 70s. Then it died.

We upgraded to a minifridge. White. The freezer didn’t really work. It sat on a table where the other refrigerator used to sit. Then the refrigerator worked less and less. And that died. So we downgraded to a blue ice chest. One bag of ice and some bologna and cheese. Maybe milk, not that we drank it because we drank the sodas from the ice chest. It sat in front of the table where the refrigerator used to sit. That was a mess.

Then there was a black minifridge. It um did well.

My Mom would cook large elaborate meals sometimes. Stuff like fajitas, rice, and the likes. We had an electric skillet with a lid and other cool electric grills. My favorite was the one burner electric stove. Probably 8x8in. But there was just something different about us. After we finished eating lunch one sunny summer day, we left the fajitas enclosed in a pan of sorts. And maybe one hour, two hours went by. It was a warm day like every other day.

So we were going to eat left overs. Or I was going to, adamant for some odd reason to eat left overs. Lifted the cover of the fajitas. Now, when my first pet died outside there was no shortage of flies and ants and all kinds of creatures to decompose a body. When you leave fajitas in non-tight-sealed covered container indoors. When you don’t have air conditioning. When you live in Texas and it’s the summer. When all of a sudden you’re faced with these factors and you open the lid of the fajitas…

you’re going to find one inch maggots instead of fajitas.

There was just something different about us and it happened often enough to change things. A refrigerator is my food’s best friend. I can’t pack a salad at eight in the morning to go out about my day and then eat that salad at three in the afternoon. It doesn’t work that way.


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