I’ve been feeling hungry most of the afternoon. I want to clarify that this is a completely unrighteous hunger. I ate cereal for breakfast, a muffin top for elevensies, then had a proper lunch with two sides.
Unrighteous is truth. I tried to keep this phantom hunger at bay, first by working, then by drinking tea with fake sweetener and then by watching cute puppies on the internet. No good. I started gnawing at the inside of my cheek. I looked up and the clock said quitting time. I was out the door, looking forward to a healthy and satiating dinner. Then, it hit me.
The Beast needs food.
I punched myself in the head for blowing the task off this weekend. Punching made me less hungry for a second. Anyway, I literally drove by the dogfood store on Sunday after the dog park, but found no convenient parking. I couldn’t imagine success in trying to balance the insane 78 pound dog on one arm and a 35 pound bag of kibble in the other. I drove home. Now I am very sorry. Very sorry. And not less hungry. Maybe more hungry. I swallow reflexively.
My desperate mind races to the bottom of the food storage container. Even if I could scrape a scant dinner from the depths of his echoing bin, there would be nothing for tomorrow morning. That’s it. I have to buy dog food. I am without another choice.
I am feeling even more hungry. My stomach is eating itself. Not really, but the unrighteous hunger is unrelenting as I try to push it aside. Instead of going home and digging up some dinner, I need to hop in the car and drive to the store.
Now I’m thinking about what I can eat in the way to the dog food store. I don’t want to wait. I want to have something salty or sweet, or sweet and salty. I’m thinking of burger toppings. I’m thinking of filling up at a drive-thru.
Arrggh! I remember that it’s not food if arrives in the window of your car. And I’d be breaking a bunch of other food rules, like only eating junk food that I make and only eating at a table. My steering wheel is not a table. And I already said muffin-top in the third sentence here, that’s as close as I want to be.
I start thinking about responsibilities. I call up those days–usually a sunny and warm day–when I get in my car and feel like I just want to drive. And drive. Drive right out of town. Maybe to the beach.
I want to roll down the windows and turn up the radio and sing as loud as I can. So loud that other motorists turn to see where the caterwauling is from. And I just laugh and sing even louder and with even more “feeling.” I don’t know where I’d go, but I’d go.
I’m at the train station. I walk out of the car to the platform. It’s sunny, but end of the day sunny with long shadows suggesting not much sun left. I’m wearing a coat and pull it a bit closer. It’s not that warm, either. I ride down the escalator and amble to the turnstile. I flash my pass and the gates open in front of me.
I’m not that hungry. I bet that The Beast is way hungrier than me. I near the house and see the car on the street. I can be back with the goods in a quick twenty minutes. A business walk and then just a few more minutes to get my plate on. I can hold out. And I can feel righteous in my choices.