Today was hell.
I’ve set a budget of R100 per day so that fast food is off the menu. Thing is, I had a lamb shank on Sunday, which was s’posed to give leftovers for lunch today.
That didn’t happen – and the shank cost R160 – so that left R40 for food, plus whatever food was at home (there’s more than enough at home, trust me…)
Lunch at the office was four bananas, a punnet of salad tomatoes and a litre of still mineral water. All good. I actually didn’t feel hungry as I left work to drive the 50km home.
I planned to make a small pasta at home, but as I drew close to the strip malls where fast food dealers peddle their devastating wares, the inner voice made itself heard.
In the end – a compromise: I bought just one meal – a lasagne, with a small garlic bread on the side. Just a single portion. No sugary, carbonated cold drink. No extra portions for “later on, I swear” (only we all know that’s never true…)
I felt happy with this compromise. No, not happy – satisfied. I can work with this.
Except as I sat there, waiting for my minuscule order, the smells wafting from the pizzeria overwhelmed me completely. Rich, warm baked cheese. Crisp, fresh dough. The tang of garlic and the hint of chillies and pepper. Bacon! I could detect sheets of bacon, crisping in the oven!
FRENZY! Food! Eat! More! Have! Now!
These words and more, unintelligible cravings clawed at the inside of my skull. I sat there, unmoving. No twitching. No outward sign of the starving monster raging inside.
I watched the other patrons waiting for their orders. Sitting there, so calmly. So unaware. So disaffected. “DO YOU EVEN KNOW MY LIFE? DO YOU KNOW WHAT I AM GIVING UP??! And you just SIT there! Uncaring! Unknowing! Fuck you! I hate you! I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU!”
“Order number eighty-one!” A voice breaks through my inner space.
I take my pathetic, measly meal for one and leave. I have survived.
Except that there is now only R25 for tomorrow’s budget. That discipline thing? It’s going to need work. A lot of work.
Day 3, I’m ready. Do your worst. I’m stronger than that.
© Dave Luis 2015. All Rights Reserved.