Reality Sets In
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I got really sick of eating bananas. But I discovered I could do the same trick with cigarettes, so as I went from place to place, I bartered for my needs—a pair of socks to cushion my feet, some sweatpants to replace the blood-stained scrubs—and little by little, I began to trade up and accumulate a surplus. I exchanged two cigarettes for an egg and two eggs for a measure of flour. A packet of yeast cost me three eggs because it was so rare, but with the yeast and the flour, I baked two loaves of bread, trading one for a can of condensed milk and the other for an almost full bag of rice. I traded more cigarettes for some raisins and traded my fork for a leaky pot I could use to make rice pudding and soup. I carried my supplies in a makeshift knapsack I crafted out of a pillowcase o...

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