My sleeping patterns are totally screwed as i go into hibernation-despair-suicide mode, sleeping massively and, when awake, easily capable of staring blankly at the ceiling for hours, moaning softly, “death…”

It’s now Sunday, 3.29 am. i awoke to find i have no food left (save a jar of honey). The pizzeria opens round about noonish on Sunday – which is also when i’ll be wanting to go to sleep. Needless to say all other shops are closed on Sunday. i considered fasting till Monday but in my present state food is one of my few anchors to physical reality; i was already feeling weird, having not eaten since some time on Friday, so decided to take action.

i therefore rummaged through the pantry and fridge to see what i could discreetly steal. There is an art to stealing food from flat/house-mates. If you’re going to go on living with these people you can’t afford to piss them off so thefts must be occasional and preferably unnoticeable.

As an example of how not to steal food, in Manchester my landlady’s son came back from boozing and ate a sandwich i’ve bought for my worklunch, and foolishly left in the fridge, in the Elberry tupperware box. He explained that he’d just assumed it was for him and he was hungry, so there it was, or rather wasn’t. Now that’s just bad technique.

The kitchen is full of food but unfortunately it’s mostly of the Ingredients variety (flour, eggs, rice, veg, etc.) – my landlady knows how to cook, as i don’t, so there wasn’t much to be had. However, a skilful Elberry will always find a way and i came up with some stolid German bread, a biscuit, and a tiny piece of chocolate. Lathered with honey the bread has given me the vicious edge i need, to blog, to live, to scheme and brood and ponder.

Such scenes have often graced my life. Inside my copy of Harold Bloom’s The Western Canon, i wrote my name and something like “i have been reduced to eating out-of-date Christmas pudding” – a memorial to a similar episode in my youth, when a rummage through my father’s kitchen turned up half a dozen out-of-date Christmas puddings. Out-of-date but delicious, by God.

As it happens my father threw me out of the house for stealing a ready-made meal, so one should not assume that foodcrimes are entirely without consequence. The expulsion, delivered just after Christmas 2003, led to my taking up temp work as a bitter necessity, and my move to a dusty mouldy basement in Leeds – and, after 5 years of horrible jobs, to blogging at 0330 in the north of Germany, unemployed, broke, and quite quite mad.

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