• Every goddamn spice you can find in your kitchen
  • Any type of oil available (examples: olive, palm, crude)
  • Assorted vegetables you bought drunk at Trader Joe’s
  • One pound unidentifiable, suspect meat
  • Rice (who are you kidding, you can’t afford quinoa)
  • Two cups self-loathing


1. Attempt to order Chinese food online. Discover credit card is maxed out. Head into kitchen with acute sense of impending doom.

2. Relocate enough empty beer cans/takeout containers/dirty dishes to clear off one stove burner and one square foot of counter space. Move a heaping portion of mess to roommate’s bedroom, to taste.

3. Retrieve only cooking pot you own. Add enough oil to drown a small bird in.

4. Wonder how long you’ll have to keep cooking for one. I mean, everyone thought you and Katie were perfect for each other—end game material, right? But then, you had to fuck it all up that one night in Nashville. And now here you are, left with nothing more than a large pot of cooking oil and bitter memories.

5. Cook oil at random heat setting between “Off” and “High.” Adjust heat every two minutes.

6. Dump assorted spices into pot. Turns out, you’re out of parsley, but that’s all right. Cilantro’s the same thing. You’re just making dinner, after all, not a fucking Simon and Garfunkel album.

7. Haphazardly chop any vegetables you can get your hands on. Sure, half of it is moldy, but who cares? Your vegetables are just growing more vegetables for you. This is what eating organic’s all about!

8. Add butchered veggie mix to oil. Stir with wooden spoon that’s much shorter than depth of pot.

9. Find suspect meat in back of fridge. Sniff it, frown, sniff again, add to sizzling mixture on stove.

10. As you stir the gurgling blend, realize that you’re doing just fine all by yourself. You don’t need Katie. Think about all the ways you’re better off without her. You’re free to do whatever you want, my friend! As far as you see it, Nashville was the best thing that could’ve happened to you.

11. Burn the whole thing because your roommate started watching Black Mirror and you took your eyes off the stove for, like, two minutes. Ok, ten minutes tops.

12. Realize you never started the goddamn rice. Decide you’re done with this motherfucker anyway. Katie was right, you’re a worthless piece of shit who’s too immature to be in a relationship with anyone right now.

13. Gag down one bowl of the concoction. Leave rest to fester on stove until your roommate takes care of it.

14. Contract food poisoning. Then, as you lay shivering on your bathroom floor after 24 hours of debilitating nausea, understand just how alone you are in this world. Consider calling Katie and apologizing for everything. You’d do anything to undo it all, to take it back if you could. You’d burn Nashville to the ground if you had to. If she’d just give you one more chance, you’d never ever do anything to hurt her as long as you live. Realize that your phone is on the countertop. You’re too weak to reach it. You’re too weak to reach her. Weep softly.

15. The next time your parents call, tell them yes, of course you’re taking care of yourself. Christ, Mom, you’re not a child, for fuck’s sake.