Lunch

I hate my lunches.

Every other time I've worked (seldom) it's been somewhere far-flung enough that if I din't bring a lunch, I was fucked. (That's how I put it to my coworkers; that is how one puts things in a hard hat, apparently.) On jobs in the middle of nowhere, I worried constantly about lunch. Afternoons driving back wondering if I needed to shop for tomorrow's lunch; evenings taking inventory of the kitchen, either literally or mentally, from some horizontal pose; nights re-cataloguing the evening's information into something to eat; mornings trying to remember not to forget to prepare and pack; lunchtimes eating not to want to eat later and overdoing it, turning my guts into a pendulous weight, splashing excess up into my esophagus. Of course, the future tense's reign over my consciousness gets periodically overthrown while regularly employed. Worrying about lunch turns quickly into falling into lunch, lapsing into going out the door, remembering, maybe, eventually, to sleep. Waking up becomes the bends, when the excesses of this slippery new relationship with time slap down all at once.

Nonetheless, lunch was one of those unavoidable realities. Working within two blocks of downtown and two blocks from a supermarket, it isn't really. I don't bother to pack lunch from home. Whatever. Instead, I walk to the store, and among a plethora of options get more or less the same thing every time, and I'm beginning to loathe it. But then, you know I love to loathe. Every time I get a roll, a piece of cheese (there's a bucket of leftover small pieces to save me from letting a larger block rot in my backpack through the afternoon), and some kind of fruit: a smoothie, a couple of plums, a banana. Unlike the nervous gorging of before, this lunch programme is never quite enough. Yet what small item do I fill it out with? I never know. Chips? A soda? A carrot? With a few small variations (whole wheat roll vs sourdough roll, havarti vs cheddar that sticks to the top of my mouth vs tiny wedge of brie) I still keep eating the same thing every day.

And my written prose spills disgustingly into my speech, like the smell of the mold spores puffing out of the rice cooker when the door is opened for the first time in weeks. Others' spillages, too, resemble what is new yet ossified. Nevermind 'technology', cyborgs can be of habit. Imagine not Locutus but those cheesy Torchwood lumberers as speech orders itself with a giveaway jitter.

Then again, who cares what spills and hardens into brittle? (It's rhetorical, but: clean freaks.) The compulsion to aestheticize needs to die, it's so ugly.

10 August 2012