It began so innocuously.
My bus ride back from the EDI Airport left me only a fiver in my pocket and a tummy rumbling for food. More pressing than anything, though, was the need for solitude. This mega-level introvert can only handle crowds and queues for so long before she needs a nap. I made the fatal flaw of changing into leggings when i at last collapsed into bed.
There is no getting me out of my room when the cotton leggings have come on.
Some 24 hours later, i emerged, jet-lagged so much i felt hungover. My stomach was screaming for food; i’d only had cookies in the cupboard.
And that’s when it started. I needed food, fast, and my fridge shelf was empty. No time, i thought, for a run to the grocer.
So instead i ran to the KFC, not two minutes up the street. I hadn’t been once the whole semester. In the states, i’m not usually a fast-food-eater. But my week in Carolina had left me hankering for the greasiest stuff America can give, so in a bastion of homesick and hangry, i downed a Lunch Box special faster than any pie-eatin’ champion this side of the Mississippi.
It was french fries and fried chicken, and it was good.
I thought, foolishly, that would be it. My need for bad Americana-style food would be sated. Besides, the KFC’s here don’t even have biscuits or mashed potatoes.
I was so young and full of ridiculous notions of my own strength, then.
My Dad arrived, and his medium-sized-oak-tree stature was American enough to keep me away from the buckets of chicken for the remainder of the week. But all too soon, he was stateside bound. I was alone. Bereft. Abandoned in a land of chips-meaning-fries and no-ice-in-your-water.
So i wept my tears into a bucket of french fries and chicken breasts. (Not literally, that would have made the crispy perfection inside the box soggy). Once. Twice. Three times.
Four. Times. FIVE. Times.
I’ve had to cut myself off. Have intentional, no-KFC-allowed days where i stare down a bowl of granola and British strawberries and dream dreams of vegetables. But it’s so damnably close to my flat, so alluring with its obnoxious red windows and late-night hours. Tempting me with its evil, cheap-and-easy ways.
It’s not like i’m pining my days away for ‘Murica or anything. I miss my family, my cats, my J, my cats, and mostly my cats. But my love for Edinburgh (and Scotland in general) is neither subtle nor limited. I’ve come alive in this city, and i’m not ready for that plane ticket home in less than fourteen days time.
But JesusMaryAndJoseph, do i want KFC every meal, every day. It’s like i’ve unearthed Pandora’s box and now have founded a cult of the £2.99 special with an extra chicken breast, no ketchup.
Maybe my tummy’s telling me something that my mind won’t let me think yet. That the end of my five months in Scotland is coming – and soon – whether i accept it or not. Or maybe KFC just laces their meat with nicotine and i need a support group. Both are equal possibilities in my mind.
But if you’ll excuse me, i have to make a quick run up the block. Something drenched in salt and smelling of potatoes is calling my name, seductive bastard.
current jam: ‘no church in the wild (feat. frank ocean & the dream’ by jay-z & kanye west.
best thing: more than a month after my last class, i have an exam today. about damn time i tackle this beastie.