Today feels like one of those days. One of those days where I may end up regurgitating spicy dredgings.
I have nothing to do. The weather is half decent. I woke up early. I did the shit, shower and shave combo, sans shave. Made some tasty buttered “whisky marmalade” toast for breakfast accompanied by a lazy plain black coffee. You know the kind, when you just pour hot water over grinds that have been scooped into the bottom of the mug. Tastes just as good as filtered if you ask me.
Like this, but not as fancy or dainty – bigger and heartier instead (because I’m a man).
I started dilly-dallying around online, skimming over whatever pointless articles or forum posts or emails or shopping deals my browser could scour up from the blandest corners of the web. I was utterly bored and I knew it.
Well! A wave of motivation began to swell inside me. Partially charged by hunger, partially by greed and partially by the need to do something. Anything.
I decided to have KFC for late brunch.
I don’t know where the sense of urgency for the Colonel’s secret herbs and spices came from. I imagine the cravings I experienced were akin to those a pregnant woman might endure. My mind had wholly absorbed with purpose: eat some chicken.
I headed out, on foot, deluding myself that walking there rather than opting for the drive-through would swing the pendulum of guilt and gluttony back towards equilibrium. I even consciously sidetracked myself to inspect the local community garden/church/graveyard out of curiosity. It was colourful and creepy. I tried to find more reasons to delay the inevitable return to my journey but alas, there was nothing and no-one else to peek at and judge internally. I had to press onward.
I trudged along the path in front of me, half willing, half reluctant. Why did I allow myself to begin this? Was I that weak? Couldn’t I have just had another slice of toast? Why didn’t I just have serial or at worst, a sausage roll from the service station nearby? Coming to terms with the death grip that my stomach and subconscious had over me was proving to be difficult. My legs were just puppet legs, being pulled along by an unseen force. My tummy grumbled and growled louder than my internal rational monologue could plead, drowning it out.
Up ahead, I saw something. Something big. Something standout. A beacon. A beacon of salvation? Perhaps. It wasn’t the Colonel and his short, black stick figure body, no.
I always used to think that his tie was meant to be his arms and legs.
It was the Happy Science church. Of Sydney? Unfortunately I could not be brought to spiritual happiness, as they had nothing scheduled for that day and were closed. Wretched El Cantare, teasing me and leaving me to suffer. Perhaps, in his universal wisdom, he wanted me to experience physical happiness this time? Would he lead me to a new awareness in the future? Only time will tell.
The cold, hard reality of my situation finally sunk in. I knew there could be no escape, no turning back. Not this time. Perhaps there never was hope? All of my resistance had proven to be futile. My will had broken and I had succumbed to the call. Was this fate after all?
Without thinking, my feet led me towards the electronic doors. They slid open smoothly and perhaps a little too quickly. I didn’t hear them shut behind me once I stepped inside. My senses became dulled. I felt like I was wafting through life, like a cloud or vapour in a soft breeze. Most of my memories from inside this Southern temple are just a blur, a dream.
I didn’t even need to read the entire menu. The Zinger Box stood out as if it solely was adorned in flashing red and green neon lights. My eyes were affixed to it as the cashier took my order. I merely pointed towards it, unable to make an utterance in my near-fugue state. The cashier didn’t even need to look. He knew what it was. I think he said something about “regular”, I don’t know how I reacted.
Within moments I was seated and devouring the most delicious portions of fried chicken I’d ever experienced. The crunch, the spice, the surprising (relative) lack of grease and slime made every bite a moment to savour. I could feel my stomach patting me on the back for delivering this non-nutritional treat. The salt from the fresh chips and the mayonnaise on the burger and the tenderness of the chicken all revitalised my essence. I attacked my serving ravenously, only hesitating to tear at the moist towelette packaging to wipe myself down.
A calm began to fall, draping itself over me like a security blanket. The mist in my head was clearing. I’d stopped eating. I was satiated. I cracked open the can of Pepsi Max that had somehow been there all along and slowly sipped it. I spent a few moments reflecting on what I’d just done. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be that person, but I was scared because I liked it.
The walk home felt uplifting. I saw things I’d never noticed before. It even felt like I was walking faster.
I knew I’d still be bored when I got home. That’s when I bought some beer.