It crept up on me as it always does, there was no warning, there was no time to prepare for it.
I had just worked a long shift, it was busy so there was no time for a break, no time for a snack or a breather. My shift finally ended and instead of staying and having some dinner I decided I was tired and wanted to go straight home. It was late out, it was a dark walk home, the moonlight reflected off the lake. I was walking quickly, a cute little lone duck wandered across my path causing me to stop walking until he had passed, aw what a cute duck I thought to myself. That’s when I heard the whisper…’stupid duck…’, it was so close I jumped, I looked around but there was no one near. I continued walking, a bit faster now. I noticed I was kind of hungry, thinking about it it had been hours since I had last eaten. By the time I reached the middle of town I realised I was actually starving, oh god how could I have let this happen, I knew what was coming.
It was a Saturday night so of course there were hoards of drunk people wandering the street. I tried to keep my head down, avoid eye contact, just breathe, just get home, just ignore them just ignore them just ignore them. I could hear a slight growling noise in my head, a quiet voice started to whisper profanities in my mind. “Stupid drunk people, get out of my way!” “Oh no problem, u just stand there in the middle of the street, I’ll walk around you!” I was almost there, almost off the busiest street when the group of boys approached. 1 of them broke away from the pack and started walking towards me, the growling in my head grew louder, the voice of reason in my mind growing fainter, and it was then that I knew it was too late, it was here, the food rage. Hanger. I was possessed by the hunger demon.
The unsuspecting boy continued to approach, a stupid grin plastered across his clearly drunken face. He came right up close to me and made a gesture. The last of the reasonable thought in my mind drained away as the hunger demon took over my body. I opened my mouth to speak.
What I meant to say to the boy:
“Hello, while I appreciate that it is merely the copious amounts of alcohol that u have consumed that is prompting u to thrust ur genitals in my direction, and while I can see that u are clearly trying to look good in front of your friends, I have actually had a long day of work and just want to walk home uninterrupted by u, ur friends and ur genitals. Have a lovely night.
What I actually said (yelled):
It was my voice, I heard it, it came from my mouth, and yet it wasn’t me! I had no control over it. My stomach rumbled, the laugh of the hunger demon. I walked faster now. The voice in my head cursing everything I passed, “look at that flower, what an ugly shade of pink”, “why is it so damn windy tonight”, “hey asshole, it’s called a pedestrian crossing, slow down!”. Before all the sanity left my body I decided to text Gerry and warn him, I wanted to send him a nice message, the tiny piece of sanity left in me just wanted a hug but the hunger demon took over my fingers as I reached for my phone.
I paused at the front door, I had to make a plan, I needed to get straight to the food cupboard before the hunger demon spoke to Gerry. Unfortunately he was in the living room and was in the mood for the chat, I tried to speak to him but like a wild animal the hunger demon ignored him and started raiding the cupboard instead, where was all the food? Oh god I had forgotten to do a food shop, all I could find was 2 grapes in the fridge. I could see that he was hurt by my silence, I needed to get out of here, I needed to get food before it was too late. I grabbed the car keys and turned to go out the door, that’s when she caught my eye, my little guinea pig sitting in her house staring up at me….so cute….so fat…..so plump….almost like a large chicken drumstick…..GO, GET OUT NOW!
The 4 minute drive to the shop felt like a lifetime, the hunger demon yelled at the radio man, insulted my driving, then took over completely and parked the car haphazardly over 2 parking spaces. The shop is a mixture of heaven and hell, I’m surrounded by the food I have been craving so badly and yet I can’t eat it yet. I’m salivating as I walk the aisles, spontaneously throwing anything that takes my fancy into the shopping cart. Cheese, wine, popcorn. I can see light at end of tunnel, a small bit of reason creeps back into my body and brings the guilt with it. Did I actually just completely ignore Gerry and fantasise about eating my own guinea pig? What is wrong with me! I decided to buy a carrot for Parsley and a cream egg for Gerry. Then I decided to buy another cream egg for myself in case I ate his.
Back in the car at last in the parking lot, I immediately ripped open a bag of almonds. I shovelled them into my mouth and washed them down with some orange juice. The food acted as a hunger demon exorcism, I could feel his grip on me fading. By the time I got home I was starting to feel normal again, all my normal emotions rushed back and suddenly I was exhausted. The guilt was killing me as I went into the living room sheepishly, holding out the cream egg as a peace offering. Luckily Gerry had met the hunger demon before and he knew how it worked, he wasn’t mad. Parsley was none the wiser as she munched away on her carrot. There was nothing left to do but crack open the wine and wash away the last of the hunger demons grip.
I think packed lunches might be a good idea in the future…