Sit down. Take a deep breath. This is big.
There are steps to follow if you want to do this right.
1. The night before, just as you’re about to fall asleep, remember that you will be eating peanut butter toast in about eight hours. It will give you a mysterious Mona Lisa smile.
2. Get out of bed after snoozing once. Use those eight minutes to think about peanut butter toast and about how you’ll never live up to your full potential as a human being. Decide to focus on the toast.
3. Go pee and take your pills: birth control and citalopram. Wonder if you should stop taking the citalopram; really, you haven’t felt intense anxiety in a while, and you might be able to get by on a smaller dose or none at all, and if you were only a stronger person, you would be able to exist without pills to clear your brain out, and maybe even without birth control, because you wouldn’t be so scared of having a child and messing it up. These thoughts all float through your mind in the five seconds it takes to rattle both pills into your hand, tip your head back, and swallow them. Decide to focus on the toast.
4. This part is important: Start the coffee first. If you drink tea, consider drinking coffee. Tea is not strong enough to stand up to peanut butter toast. Don’t put anything in your coffee. You drink it black, like your dad does, because when you started drinking it at 16 you wanted to be like him.
Just as an FYI, this post was originally written for an American audience. Instead of ‘Dave’s Killer Bread’ and ‘Orowheat,’ think ‘Tip Top’ and instead of ‘Trader Joe’s,’ think ‘Woolies’.
5. Take the loaf of Dave’s Killer Bread out of the fridge; the one with the green label. It’s “21 grains and seeds,” or something, and the only reason you might not have it is that they don’t sell it at Trader Joe’s and you didn’t feel like going to a second grocery store that week. The only acceptable alternative is Orowheat, which you always have stashed in your freezer, but the day won’t be good if you start with Orowheat. Also, does Trader Joe’s have an arrangement to take the bad produce from produce companies so they can sell it cheaply? It’s fine, but your raspberries were soggy from day one. Raspberries are the best berries to have with peanut butter toast, followed by strawberries, then blueberries, then nothing.
6. Put the bread in your toaster with the dial turned to halfway between a 3 and a 4. This will always give you the right amount of toastedness.
7. Smell the coffee. Think about the 16 year-old girl who drove to school at 6am to get a parking spot and how she stopped first at Pat’s Pantry, a nearby corner store half a mile in the wrong direction from school, to get a cup of coffee in a styrofoam tankard, how the group of older men who met there every morning were impressed that she drank her coffee black and told her to drive safe to school, how you will never again be that age, how Pat’s Pantry doesn’t even exist anymore. Why are you crying at 7:30am?