137. His Stomach Is Growling

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Derek 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 would be too slow for a hot day like today. He dared not use high speed, because loose papers on the table top would start flapping or flying everywhere. The fan was far enough away to keep the papers still, but close enough to cool him off.

Suddenly, Derek's stomach growled loudly. He didn't feel all that hungry, but he thought that the "squeaky wheel" should get some grease. He went over to the refrigerator. Absent-mindedly, he opened the top door, the freezer door. It contained six empty ice cube trays.

He shut it and opened the bottom 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 in there except some red onions, half a head of green cabbage, and two apples that had brown soft spots.

His refrigerator contained some food, but it was food that you would eat only if you were starving. He was reminded of his stint in the army. His buddies and he always joked about how bad the C-rations were, but when they were really hungry those same C-rations disappeared quickly.

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 would wait until he was really hungry. Then he would walk down to the fried chicken place five minutes away and get some finger-licking food.

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