Home alone

Max came round to pick up a letter and we kept a distance from each other. My communication with him was rusty as he was the first human I’d spoken to in the flesh for a while. I’m here in my flat, alone with the snake. I’ve been looking at my family’s past, thinking about my own future.

Last night I stubbornly cooked a gammon that went off on the 14th. It smelt a bit off, but I thought maybe cooking it would help. “Might be just the outer layer”… Two hours later I took a slice of rancid cooked meat and put it in my mouth. The body knows immediately. I spat it, washed my mouth out and retched.

I’m pretty loose with use by dates as they’re to protect the seller from idiots. But don’t fuck with pork or chicken. I had to throw the whole thing out. Damn. Sorry piggy I wasn’t paying attention. I had sad runner beans and gravy for supper. Still tasty. Gravy helps with everything.

This morning I hardboiled all the eggs that went off on the 7th. They’re fine so far, and I’ll know when I crack one that isn’t.

There’s not much choice in the local Tesco when I try it out. Tortilla and quiche seem to be the ones that don’t get picked for the team.

The delivery comes and so come the scared people. “The army is going to close down the streets, there’ll be a curfew,” says one of them on WhatsApp with the certainty of someone who hasn’t a clue. They buy all the food on the shelves almost immediately so they can take it home and sing to it it as it rots.

I have no idea when in the day the Tesco delivery comes but I imagine there’ll be a queue of angry people as soon as the van arrives and I’m not going to be one of them. Every time I go near that place it feels bad. There’s always some arsehole trying to make the staff accountable for the fact that another arsehole already got all the X. “Someone told me yesterday if I come at this time etc etc” It feels negative and sick in there, with all the bad energy and the shelves literally teeming with whatever this thing is.

I bought a load of stuff a month ago when my army friend predicted this, so I guess I am in a lucky position. My larder can do a month. But obviously I’d sooner not be burning into emergency supplies right away in case I get properly sick, as I’m on my own here and I understand it can last a good week at high symptoms, this bug. Better to get a modest amount of fresh food daily until symptoms kick in and I’ve only got the headspace left to open a tin. But I guess most people don’t have a prescient army friend or the luxury to risk the supermarket.

On my Facebook timeline my friends are just starting to manifest sick children etc. I’ve been doing my best to totally isolate but I wonder how things will go now.

Seeing my brother was a blessing though. I’ve only really started to understand how fundamentally alone I am now that my social life is no longer a thing. Thankfully I have a beautiful flat, and an attractive pudding of a snake holed up here with me. I’ll be ok for however long it takes. I might need to be a little more proactive with the shopping. And I wish that I had a bread machine. I have wanted one for so long I might go to Peter Jones tomorrow in my mask and see if I can get one over the counter. Then I’ve got warm bread from flour water and yeast and you can be sure that even though all the ready made loaves are being gently stroked in their precious rotting piles by the trembling hands of the fearful, all the flour and yeast is just sitting on the shelf looking pissed off.

A machine is nice because you can set it to wake you. Or I might just make it with my hands.

I hate being in supermarkets in the daytime right now. Normally it’s only like that in the evening, at lunchtime or on weekends. But suddenly all the people who keep themselves locked in boxes are living at home all week. Get back in your boxes! The world is mine on the weekdays, dammit. Even Friday.


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.

One thought on “Home alone”

  1. Here things have calmed down. The idiots have finally cottoned to the fact that as fast as they clear the shelves they get restocked. That is because Tesco is a money machine and does not know how to run out of anything.


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