Thursday, September 14, 2006

I am almost always hungry

I am almost always hungry is the name of a cookbook that I do not own, nor have I ever really looked at. But the title is often stuck in my head.

I too, am almost always hungry. Except when I'm not.

The sensation of not being hungry when you are supposed to be is a strange one, and until recently not one I had experienced often. Sure, you can loose your appetite when you are sick or worried or scared.

Sometimes if you've eaten a very big meal, you won't be hungry. Instead you'll feast again mentally on the dinner or lunch, the two or three course meal complete with coffee and milk. But it is rare to expect that you will be hungry, to turn your attention to the belly and instead of growls and cravings, feel nothing.

I had two slices of cold day old pizza for lunch yesterday. I ate it at 1pm, sitting at my computer washed down by a diet coke. It was a crazy, merciless day at work filled with computer problems and meetings. By the time the day was done I was in need of a drink and a good meal.

The perfect evening would be to go home and to have M there to cook for me. He'd have music on, wine opened and would be whipping up something tasty and hearty. But this was not going to happen. Long distance love is not equipped to handle bad days at work in that way. I thought instead about what was in the fridge: leftovers, and none of them too exciting. I wandered through two (yes two) different grocery stores. I told myself the options were endless, whatever I wanted I could have. But I didn't want anything.

On the drive from the first grocery store to the second I told myself that if I could think of something, anything from any restaurant in the entire city I could have it. I live in a city filled with fantastic food. Yet nothing piqued the interest of my stomach. It was a very sad moment.

At 8:30 PM I warmed leftovers and opened a cold beer. It wasn't satisfying, but I was mostly trying to prevent a 3AM empty stomach wake up call. While eating I realized that more than being hungry I was lonely. Anything would have tasted good if I had the right person to eat it with and camaraderie would have easily stoked my appetite.

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