Hungry like the wolf

The hunger strikes. It isn’t a sudden hunger that catches me unaware, but a slow, perforating feeling that comes from partly sleeping and partly waking all day. I trudge down the street, strangely aware of all the sounds, of all the colours – the greens of the trees, the reds of the buildings, and the grey of the sky. I am not part of this creation; I observe it from the outside. A weight rests on my mind like a boulder in front of a cave entrance. The darkness descends unwarranted as I cross the street and enter the shop.

What hits me first is the cold and brightness of the refrigerators. It was cold outside, but this is a different type of cold. It is the sterile frigidity of a processed packaged world.

My stomach rumbles.

I yawn lazily while I stare at the vegetable section and stagger on.

Meat. I need meat. Were I in the wild, I’d have bison and buffalo and elk to feed on, sinking sharp, cutting teeth into raw, bloody flesh. But in this modern existence, I must curb and satisfy my yearnings differently.

Sausages, steaks, fillets, chicken drumsticks: all parade before me as I settle in front of the chilled meat section. What hunger I had dissipates. They all look the same in their plastic containers – little reddish pink squares of sacrifices in transparent coffins. What is the pride and joy in that?

The longer I stare, the louder the screeches and squawks become. In my mind, I see the animals dying, in one dark slaughterhouse or another, in the morbid chain of mass-production – or mass-slaughter.

Moving on to the snacks section, I glare at the sandwiches and offers. Not very appealing in this garish light. What is a wellmeaning hungry wolf to do?

I snap my head at the sound of footsteps. A grey-haired fellow is walking towards me. He doesn’t stop, but simply steps around me, gazing through me, as if I were not there. He definitely doesn’t see me. Am I so far inside my own head that I am invisible?

A woman hurries past. I am still not there. That is to say, I am something to be stepped around, like furniture in a cluttered room or a pile of shit on a pavement. I sink into my leather jacket a little more, wondering as I follow her with my eyes.

I have come to understand it is not ordinary for a human to have yellow-brown eyes. It is also not customary for a biped of this age to growl.

Eventually, I look back to the food. It looks back at me, yellow stickers highlighting reductions and offers. I pick up a packet of something mushy green and brown, that claims it contains one of an average human’s five a day.

Five what exactly?

My hand dives into my pocket, reaching for some currency. I walk up to the self-service machine. I pay quickly and leave, eager to enjoy my latest conquest. It is time to feast.

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