Stranded World, Autumn
Autumn chuckled to herself every time she picked up bacon for dinner.
“Bringing home the bacon,” she murmured, although most nights, it was only to herself and the quiet walls of her van/RV/studio/home. “I’m such a good husband.”
It was a private joke, between herself and the thing that served her in lieu of a conscience: she was the good housewife, the good kid, the good husband. She was bread-winner and bread-baker and, in the end, bread-eater and crumb-picker too.
It wasn’t her only one-person inside joke, of course. She spent a lot of time, most of her life, really, alone with her own thoughts. On the road all the time – she spent, on average, a week with each of her siblings each year, and a week with Mom around Christmastime – she rarely had company with any staying power. Most people liked to have roots, a roof, a solid foundation. Most people liked to know what their role was. Autumn shook all that up.
She snipped the bacon into her pan, still chuckling, albeit ruefully. She’d made the bread-winner bacon-home-bringing joke to her last lover. Adam, although that hadn’t been the name she’d met him under. Her Gawain. He had bristled and tried to hide it, sulked (his busking wasn’t all that profitable) and tried to use that. He’d been lovely, friendly, and willing to throw his rucksack in the back of her van and travel with her. She was glad she hadn’t harbored any illusions beyond that. She wished that he hadn’t, either.
The bacon crisped and popped, making the place smell delicious and her mouth water. She toasted some bread and sliced a fresh tomato over her craft-fair mustard. The company was nice, once in a while, but she’d always be her own breadwinner, her own bread-maker… and probably her own crumbpicker, too. And that was just fine with her.
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