Day Five and Beyond: I run out of fingers at ten.

How many days in Lent? Forty? Sixty? Memory of Baltimore Catechism faded gray to mirror the sky. I dug out a calendar given away by a farm supply store before Christmas.

With my index finger on Ash Wednesday I started. There are 46 boxes until Easter. If I sacrificed through every Sunday it would be longer than the 40 days doctrine required. There must be a bonus in that. Plus, if coffee, sweets, and alcohol were consumed on Sundays, there wouldn’t be enough days in between to recover. I know myself well.

But that was way more than a month. No one would recommend a 46 day cleanse. Right? If I could cut through the fog in my brain I would revisit the whole idea. I knew the cure: one, two, or at tops three Hershey kisses. Instead I grabbed a highlighter and X-ed out five boxed days in February. Visual confidence in florescent yellow.

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Teas on the sehlf at giant Lent

Day 6: Loading up

No matter the variety or number of teabags floating in a cup, the stuff tasted like water, with a bite. I stood in the grocery aisle and stared at boxes of tea stacked on shelves. And stared. I can’t say how long I was there, but the room started to move. I couldn’t decide what to buy. Green, black, white tea. Cranberry apple, chamomile mango, strawberry champagne, Bengal spice. My eyes stalled in over stimulation on the rows of No Caffeine teas. And tried to picture how they took the good stuff out. Suddenly I felt I was being watched. Before store security asked me to move along I tossed a collection of the prettiest boxes in the cart.

Grateful to be back in my own kitchen, I realized I had forgotten what I went for, milk.

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