Several of us were still together as the nutritional era drew to a close. The literary genre here would be one of wearily roaming about, looking for food, shelter, wildlife, machines, art supplies, medication, board games, riddles, and books. A sense of not belonging, or of not having the right sort of belongings. The territory was not astonishing. The music and images summoned up from the ancient past were not relevant. All of this has been clearly set forth in the scientific and dietary literature of the time. Occasionally we had the temerity to make crude scatological jokes at the poor surgeon general and his innocent family's expense. Painful discussions and arguments around the campfire lingered on deep into the night, until even the heartiest conversationalists among us were falling over stiff and mute mid-phrase or mid-sentence. An impartial onlooker might have questioned our goodwill or sanity, or presented us with the metaphor of a person rising from long, troubled sleep and discovering that the community has, overnight, been turned into stone, as if by sorcery.
But we didn't believe in sorcery! We were all hard-nosed empiricists. If only I had forged ahead with my animal-based education, one of us lamented for hours each day. The rest of us had no idea what she was even referring to, but she already had a reputation for saying cryptic or incomprehensible things, so we just nodded, and kept on pondering how we should alter our strategy in the face of th
It probably comes as no surprise that the members of our little group enjoyed cereal. The classics, mainly: mini wheats, fruit loops, barley chips, toasted oats, corn flakes, apple jacks, rice crisps, honey nuggets, bran squares, etc. Our critique of society required a delicate blend of highly specialized fuels. The tagline was not "Sorry, folks, we have nothing concrete to contribute at this point" but "Gather around, folks, we have on offer a cheap and colorful array of products and services designed by a panel of eminent park rangers to enhance your experience of wandering around forlorn in the wilderness."
And then, indeed, as if by sorcery, the cereals appeared out of nowhere. We were simultaneously enchanted and haunted. The literary genre here would be decidedly pastoral-gothic. We chose, wisely I think, to not drill down for hidden meanings and messages. The situation was already sufficiently tense, and additional meanings and messages might very well put a few of our more sensitive team members over the edge.
Eva continued to lament the interruption of her precious animal-based education, and the more sympathetic among us continued wearily nodding along in support, while the less sympathetic had long ago drifted far off into the ragged margins of their own obsolete or extinct personalities, and were probably not hearing or seeing things as clearly as might have been hoped.