Hunger

Wednesday, 11th of February, 2015.

7:00am.

The birds outside are chirping as usual. Their song is familiar. One of the neighbours is already mowing their lawn. Possibly number fifteen. The sun is bright enough to illuminate my bedroom, despite the closed curtains. My stomach gurgles. There will be no more sleep to be had this morning.

I briefly step outside to collect the newspaper. The heat is already setting in, despite the early hour. I should have worn slippers to prevent foot discomfort. It is, in fact, number fifteen. His gaudy dressing gown is unmissable.

Inside, breakfast is cooking. Meanwhile, the freezer holds a small selection of items that might become my dinner tonight. Restocking will soon be necessary. For today, perhaps a fine rump steak will suffice. Breakfast goes down quickly, as does the shower that follows. Not long now before it will be time to leave for work.

Traffic is heavy today. A four-wheel drive cuts me off on the freeway. Luckily, the offense causes no incident. I arrive at work on time. My boss has several new tasks for me to complete, on top of the ones I already have in progress. Lunch may have to wait.

My stomach grumbles. This pile of work never seems to get any smaller recently. The clock ticks and tocks ever closer to sign off time. My colleagues attempt to make conversation, but I can’t afford to dilly dally. There will always be time for chit chat later.

My card punches out for the day, and my hands fervently tear into my packed meal even as I walk out the door of the office. It doesn’t last much longer than it takes for me to get back onto the freeway. At least the traffic is calmer now.

Despite my late lunch, I’m already hungry by the time I get home. The steak on the stove glistens with condensation. I waste no time depositing my possessions so as to get into the kitchen faster. I carefully extract the meat from its packaging and prepare it even more so. It’s important to ensure the correct balance of flavours is used. I also take care with the accompanying sides, and with the cooking process.

I barely have time to admire my creation before the churning signals for me to start eating. It truly is a shame. Nevertheless, I derive much enjoyment from my meal. I have done well tonight. I allow myself to rest for some time before retrieving my briefcase and continuing to work. Unpaid overtime is the best kind of overtime.

Night falls further and further and the stars appear in the sky. The lights of the houses nearby gradually wink out, and I decide that I should follow suit. Though I feel tired when I climb into my bed, it still takes several hours before, finally, I drift off to sleep.


Thursday, 12th of February, 2015.

7:00am.

The birds outside are chirping as usual. I don’t recognise their song. One of the neighbours is mowing their lawn. It must be number eleven, since fifteen was yesterday. They must have a need to show the other up. The sun is bright enough to illuminate my room, despite the closed curtains. My stomach gurgles. There will be no more sleep to be had this morning.

I briefly step outside to collect the newspaper. The heat is already setting in, despite the early hour. If not for my slippers, walking out along the driveway might be uncomfortable. The resident of number eleven waves. I wave in return.

Inside, breakfast is cooking. Meanwhile, the freezer holds a very small selection of items that might become my dinner tonight. Restocking will soon be necessary. For today, perhaps some mince will suffice. I had better save the other option for tomorrow. Breakfast goes down quickly, as does the shower that follows. Not long now before it will be time to leave for work.

Traffic is moderate today. A four-wheel drive cuts off a driver behind me on the freeway. Luckily, the offense causes no incident. I arrive at work early. My boss is pleased to see me, and hands me another new load of tasks. Thankfully, this pile is considerably smaller than yesterday’s. I may get to eat lunch after all.

My stomach grumbles. The pile of work has shrunk considerably since morning, and in a few short minutes will be gone completely. My colleagues attempt to make conversation, but I can’t afford to dilly dally. Lunch will be soon. There will always be time for chit chat later.

A smaller pile of tasks is delivered to me in the afternoon. My boss takes note of the work I’ve completed recently. The second pile of tasks is completed much quicker than the first, but I still stick around until the end of my shift. No use not collecting a full pay cheque.

I’m practically starving by the time I get home. The mince on the stove glistens with condensation. I waste no time depositing my possessions so as to get into the kitchen faster. I hastily extract the meat from its packaging and prepare it even more so. Though mince is easy to work with, I still select the spices and sauces with care. I only wish it would cook faster.

I barely have time to admire my creation before the churning signals for me to start eating. It truly is a shame. I derive enough enjoyment from the meal. On the other hand, I could have done better tonight. I allow myself to rest for some time before retrieving my briefcase and preparing my materials for tomorrow.

Night falls further and further and the stars appear in the sky. The lights of the houses nearby gradually wink out, and I decide that I should follow suit. Though I feel tired when I climb into my bed, it still takes several hours before, finally, I drift off to sleep.


Friday, 13th of February, 2015.

7:00am.

The birds outside are chirping louder than usual. I try to block out their song. Other than them, there is a stark silence outside. The sun is somewhat blocked by clouds, though enough light gets past my closed curtains to illuminate the room. My stomach gurgles. There will be no more sleep to be had this morning.

I briefly step outside to collect the newspaper. The heat is yet to set in, despite the forecast temperature. The paper boy must have had a bad arm this morning, as I have to walk across the damp grass of my lawn to extract my newspaper from a bush.

Inside, breakfast cooks. Meanwhile, the freezer holds a single remaining item that will undoubtedly become my dinner tonight. Restocking is necessary. For today, I have a leg roast for two. I only hope that my date will enjoy it. Breakfast goes down quickly, as does the shower that follows. Not long now before it will be time to leave for work.

Traffic is very heavy today. It seems that a crashed four-wheel drive is the cause of the gridlock. I arrive at work late. My boss is displeased with my tardiness, but praises my recent work ethic. He hands me a single task – albeit a multi-step task – to complete, and tells me I am welcome to leave early once I’m done.

My stomach grumbles. I complete my lone task just after my lunch break would have started, and I can’t wait to get home. My colleagues attempt to make conversation, but I can’t afford to dilly dally. I am done for the day, and I have preparations to make. There will always be time for chit chat later.

With the early departure from work, I’m free to enjoy my lunch at home on my own time. No need for wolfing it down. Furthermore, I am able to use the extra time to start preparing dinner for my date and I. The leg roast on the stove glistens with condensation. I carefully extract the meat from its packaging and prepare it even more so. Tonight has to be perfect. And since I don’t need to rush, I see no reason why it shouldn’t.

I’m practically starving by the time Rosemary arrives. We spend a short time engaging in formalities, regaling the other of our recent experiences at work and such. Small talk. She admires the décor of my home. I show her around a little, but take care not to show off everything. I have to save some mysteries for later. Before long, it comes time for us to eat.

I barely have time to admire my creation before the churning signals for me to start eating. It truly is a shame. Nevertheless, I enjoy the meal greatly. All that preparation paid off. My date also enjoys the meal. ‘This is delicious!’ she says.

‘It’s my own recipe,’ I reply, flushed with pride. ‘Would you like me to show you how it’s prepared?’

She obliges and I lead her into my study, where I keep my collection. Night falls further and further and the stars appear in the sky. The lights of the houses nearby gradually wink out, but I continue to work at my task. Hours later, I climb into bed. In no time at all, I drift off to sleep.


Saturday, 14th of February, 2015.

7:00am.

The birds outside are chirping as usual. Their song is familiar. One of the neighbours is already mowing their lawn. Possibly number twelve across the street. The sun is bright enough to illuminate my bedroom, despite the closed curtains. I lay calmly, with my hands resting on my stomach. There will be no more sleep to be had this morning.

I briefly step outside to collect the newspaper. The heat is already setting in, despite the early hour. If not for my slippers, walking out along the driveway might be uncomfortable. The resident of number twelve call out a greeting. I greet her in return.

Inside, breakfast is cooking. Meanwhile, the freezer holds a large selection of items that might become my dinner tonight. But which to choose? This cut could be handy, but that one would be good in a foot-long sub. Perhaps I should go with ribs? No, the rack’s too large. I wouldn’t eat it by myself and I have nobody to share it with. And I couldn’t possibly choose the shoulder roast without something to accompany it, and quality ingredients will cost an arm and a leg.

Oh well, there are no “ifs”, “ands” or “buts” about it. A simple breast fillet will suffice. It sure is nice to be so spoilt for choice, once in a while though. Thanks to Rosemary, restocking is no longer necessary.

THE END


Hunger was originally published on Pastebin on 17 February 2015.

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