36. It was a summer day. Derek was wearing shorts, but no shirt. He was listening to the radio and using his computer. The TV was on, but the volume was muted. The fan was on medium speed, because low speed was too low for his hot apartment. He dared not use high speed, because loose papers on the tabletop would start flapping or flying everywhere. The fan was far enough away to barely stir the papers, but close enough to cool him off.
Suddenly, Derek's stomach growled loudly. He didn't feel all that hungry, but he decided that the "squeaky wheel" should get some grease. He went over to the refrigerator. Absent‐mindedly, he opened the freezer door. Inside the freezer were six empty ice cube trays.
He shut the freezer door and opened the refrigerator door. He scrutinized the shelves: milk, pickles, olives, butter, diet soda, an unopened jar of strawberry preserves that he must have bought two years ago, ketchup, mustard, three bottles of water, a few pieces of hard candy, and some single‐wrap cheese slices. How could a whole refrigerator have nothing worth eating, Derek wondered. He opened the vegetable bins. Nothing was in there except some red onions, half a head of green cabbage, and two apples that had soft, brown spots.
His refrigerator contained some food, but it was food that didn't look the least bit appetizing. Only if he were really starving would he eat any of it. He thought of the C‐rations he used to eat in the army. Only when he was almost starving did he open his C‐rations. Then he wolfed all the food down and enjoyed a smoke afterwards.
Derek went back to his desk and resumed using his computer and listening to the radio. His stomach growled again, but he ignored it. He decided to wait until he was really hungry. Then he would walk down to the fried chicken place five minutes away and get some food that was finger‐licking good. But no cigarette for "dessert." 6.0, 343
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