‘Well Bukowski lived off eggs,’ he says.
They’re in Woolworths. He’s piling the trolley with cartons of eggs.
‘Yeah, that and yeast. All the fat bastard ever did was drink.’ She pulls a bag of pasta off the shelf and throws it in.
‘Hey, no carbs. No carbohydrates. Put it back.’
‘Whatever.’ She rolls her eyes and pushes the bag back onto the shelf. ‘Egg-head.’
‘Bukowski never cooked,’ he says. They’re in the canned goods aisle. ‘Eggs, cans of tuna, beer. These are the things a writer needs,’ he says. ‘Cooking? Who has time for cooking?’
‘He wins a prize and now he thinks he’s the next Bukowski,’ she says to the bottle of tomato sauce she’s holding in front of her face.
He keeps talking as if he hasn’t heard her. ‘I mean, carbohydrates. What the hell even is a carbohydrate?’ He scratches at his knee and feels the tough little hairs. ‘Whoever needed carbohydrates?’
‘So what, you’re gonna start drinking now, is that it?’
‘Maybe I will. Why do you care? You drink. Why shouldn’t I drink?’
He remembers when they were fucking on the bed, her legs up over his shoulders. He sees the roundness of her egg-white breasts. The panting, the sweat, the rattling of the bed against the wall. He remembers when he had her from behind, her perfectly shaped arse. Sweat like dew on a pair of eggshells. Now that, he thinks, that right there.
It’s late. The house is empty. He’s standing at the window in the kitchen, looking out over the yard. The grass is invisible in the dark. He’s so hungry he’s practically shaking. The money’s run dry. The publishers turned away. She’s gone. The pronounced shape of her silence is scalding.
His last two eggs are boiling in the pot. The cupboards are empty. Maybe I could rob a McDonalds, he thinks. Maybe I could do that. But then he remembers he doesn’t have a car. No wife to act as getaway driver. He puts the golf clubs away.
The eggs are rattling around in the pot. The sound is tremendous. The cupboards are rattling, he thinks. The rats will be scared away. And all that steam. He’s lost in it.
Two eggs. Two eggs are all that remain.