Fast food

I hate being cold. It saps the will. It doesn’t have to, but it can. I’ve let it. I’ve fallen into some bad habits in the first week or two of this run. First of all I’ve been drinking too much, which cuts the morning. Second I’ve not taken the time to go shopping. My normal food shop is done on the way home, but since I’m heading home after the shops are shut right now, I’m not buying food to cook. This coming week I’m going to make sure I do some shopping. Otherwise I get home to my cold flat starving, and throw open the fridge to a bag of mouldy cheese and carrots that have been there so long they have opinions about TV shows. Before long I’m online throwing loads of money down the internet into the hands of an Indian restaurant in Battersea that’s open until 2 on a Tuesday. Then I’m up waiting for my defrosted rat tandoori when I could’ve been cooking fresh. The food comes. It’s expensive, it’s unhealthy. I eat it guiltily, and feel down on myself for being so indulgent. And then I wonder why I’m low, when it’s a cycle of my own making.

This morning was beautiful sunshine. I didn’t leave the house. I ignored lots of messages. I just stayed in until evening, cocooned in a duvet, reading, playing games and consuming other people’s stories. Partly a necessary relief as the show is costly in terms of spirit. But now we are in the run, it’s noticeably easier on that front.

I needed the vocal rest, and just … to not think about Scrooge for a day. I’m trying to save up for a plumber. From now on I’m going to make that my priority until the system is flushed. That means getting method on Scrooge. Gruel! No extra coals in the fire! Humbug! Clever shopping in supermarkets, lots of healthy cheap food, being a bit more organised, and not spanking my evenings and my paychecks in the bar after the show goes down. Theoretically it should be easy. Practically?

Well, it’s Monday evening. I haven’t seen Emma for a while. Maze Grill is walking distance from my home and half price with the keyring. Despite everything I’ve just written, I find myself sitting in the window with a close friend. I’ve been dying to spend time with her recently. We’ve both been having tricky times and there’s tremendous fellowship. “Oh don’t worry, I’ll get yours,” says my mouth, knowing that every penny is worth it. She’d be happy with a cup of tea and a cuddle. But I want something’s flesh and I want to get her dinner too. I have a rump steak. Not a sirloin or a rib-eye, mind you. Economy…. Although frankly it was huge and I paid a tenner for it. I didn’t think to take a photo until I’d already eaten half of it.


She is a vegetarian. There’s not much she can eat in Maze, but we both come out full and happy and it didn’t break the bank. Although bank breaking, I am finally learning, is about gradual attrition rather than big stupid gestures. If I cycled into work every day like I did at The Arts last year it would be cheaper and I wouldn’t get so drunk after the show. Maybe that’s the solution. I own the gloves. I can wrap up warm and if it’s not pouring it’ll be another way of kick-starting the journey that, hopefully, leads to a working boiler before Christmas. Let’s see where that goes, shall we?

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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