It’s autumn again, the eighth since my father died, and I’m craving chicken nuggets.

When the pandemic began, I craved foods that happened to feel more virtuous. I was a frequent takeout customer at local San Francisco restaurants in economic peril: beef noodle soup from a mom-and-pop on Irving, refried beans from a taqueria on 24th Street, a pork chop from the beloved neighborhood spot on Divisadero. Every action I took was fraught with the concept of doing good. I purchased stacks of books from independent bookstores, researched gardening gloves, donated, downloaded a workout app, started reading “War and Peace.”

And then: depression, Zoom fatigue, a major life milestone passing without the ability to celebrate it, the deaths of public figures, the deaths of frontline workers, the death of a friend’s father, the deaths of migrants detained at the border, the death of a friend’s father, the death of another friend’s father.

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