Fried chicken. She didn’t know why she’d been thinking about fried chicken, but she had been for the past three days and now it was becoming almost an obsession. It wasn’t as if she had any specific desire for it and she certainly didn’t have any desire to cook it, but the two words remained stuck in her brain. Over and over they repeated themselves like a mantra that becomes a fixation.
Thursday passed and then Friday and now it was Sunday and she wondered if it were somehow connected to some story or television show she’d seen where there was a Sunday-after-church dinner. She wondered about those. Were there really families who gathered every Sunday afternoon as a family and had dinner together?
It was a nice thought. One that she couldn’t quite imagine having grown up in Manhattan, the daughter of two neuro-surgeons who were either constantly in the hospital doing some surgery or in their office seeing patients. One person they rarely saw was Stephanie.
As usual she was alone in the eleven room penthouse apartment on 5th Avenue overlooking Central Park. Stephanie wandered around aimlessly. Everyone was gone for the day. Her parents were doing rounds at the hospital and even the maid had the day off. Stephanie wondered if she went to church and then to a Sunday-after-church dinner before she came back to 5th Avenue? And did she have fried chicken for dinner? Had she mentioned it and that’s how it became stuck in Stephanie’s head? Stephanie didn’t remember even talking with Jenny, their maid, about it. So why the fixation on fried chicken?
Stephanie went to the kitchen, looked in the refrigerator as if compelled to see what it contained. Nothing very interesting. And she wasn’t even hungry – Jenny had made her a big breakfast before she left and it was now only two o’clock, not even hungry enough for a quick sandwich and certainly not a full dinner which, she suspected, would be in about an hour in those fantasy homes. How did people eat dinner so early? And didn’t they get hungry again? What did they eat then? The whole process seemed so completely out of her realm of experience that it was just a part of stories she’d heard and read.
“Okay. This is ridiculous,” she said aloud. “I will not be ruled by some fixation on fried chicken or fantasy about Sunday-after-church dinner. I’m seventeen years old. I can fend for myself and eat what I want when I want to eat it!”
With that said she picked up the book she’d left on the end table a couple of weeks before and settled down to read. Three minutes later she was up and wandering around again. Another three minutes and she was back in the chair. That repeated itself about five times before she slammed down the book and announced – “That’s it!”
She went to her computer to look up the location of the nearest Kentucky Fried Chicken.