Because L. and I are now calorie-counting app friends she let me know which recipe to use as I tracked my lunch. Another Idahoan was there!

C.’s new here and a friend gave her a list of places to try in the neighborhood which is great because I just try the Smashburger over and over again so then we walked an extra seven or eight minutes and ended up at the new German place. I got the sausage and fries, C. got a salad, we talked about assessment, who knew that would be the interesting thing to talk about? And yet. Here we are. There we were.

The potatoes were going rubbery and I have all this frozen turkey sausage from an impulse buy at the farmer’s market a few weeks ago so I thought if I chopped it all up and fried it all together I wouldn’t waste anything and it would make some sort of hash, hence the toast. Probably I should have added an egg. I didn’t eat until two, still in my pajamas on the couch, so tired.

I sort of threw a fit outside the arena, I was so hungry and I couldn’t imagine how food was ever going to happen so dad ran back inside and emerged with a German sausage that quieted me a little, then we found the graduate who was in a similar boat so we ran through the drive through sandwich place and I got lunch again.

I could have sat on that bench in the park for hours, eating a chicken sausage plus chips from the cart watching the runners and cyclists and joggers and strollers and horse-drawn carriages, K. sitting next to me not feeling her bean salad, O. sitting next to her doused head to toe in ketchup, if the sun had been shining on that side of the street.

It may be days until we can go outside again, storms are storming, took my lunch to a trail and ate following the blue blazes through the Staten Island greenbelt, I’ll want a memory I can lean into when it’s all rain, all rain.

Sitting in here in my cloffice in my new dress that looks like my old dress just in a different color, eating the half of last night’s dinner I didn’t eat last night, some music playing, know what I want and I’ve got enough of it.

C. said we could eat as many donuts as we wanted, that she had never once in the history of post-Halloween donut brunch parties ever run out, even when she made donuts for fifty people. Who am I to take her at anything other than her word? By the time I was sick with them, A. made turkey bacon and eggs, then I. and S. showed up with chicken sausage, all of which made interesting protein garnishes to donuts and more donuts and more donuts and another donut and yet another donut after that one.

C., A., S., and I sat on our towels and sheets and bamboo mats and faced the ocean and I picked my way through the collective offerings, mouth full of sand and the beach umbrella blown over, but still, sun on my face, voices mixed with waves crashing, wearing my bright sunhat, all the queers out and in color, I expect a very good year.

I felt the approving nods of my elderly train companions as I sat on the train clutching my foil-covered casserole dish, an onion and cheese egg bake that I made all by myself for brunch at A. and C.’s house, with L. and A., who was visiting from Boston. For two people with a joint paper due in January, A. and I talked remarkably little about David Wojnarowicz. I shouldn’t have worried over the casserole; we scarfed it down in six seconds while waiting patiently for A.’s souffle, which emerged from the oven looking exactly like the photo in the magazine.