donderdag 12 december 2013

When time becomes pain

It is shredded wheat. Not frosted. A big block of it in a plain white bowl, half full of milk.
It is on a table, where a man sits. There is no other food on the table.

The man is dressed in a white shirt and black slacks, and he'll put on a tie when he's finished.
Maybe he's not alone, it's just very early and his family is still asleep. He takes his spoon and
turns the block of shredded wheat over in its bowl, so that the other side can soak. He feels his
hunger, but he waits anyway. After a period of time, of a length roughly the same as yesterday,
and the day before (this time-period has become instinctual for him), he picks up his spoon and
begins to break the block up. Not completely of course, just into chunks that fit squarely onto
the spoon. The chunks usually have one side that's soggy and one side that's still a little bit crunchy.
The way he spoons each into his mouth, along with an appropriate quantity of milk, puts the
crunchy side at his teeth and the soggy side on his tongue.

As he chews, the crunchy side gets pulverized while the soggy side is mashed up by the natural
motion of the tongue while chewing. When he has eaten all the chunks, there is still milk left in
the bowl, and in it the crumbs that resulted from breaking the initial block. He does not raise the
bowl to his lips to drink the remainder; even though no one is there to see, he sticks to his etiquette
and dutifully drains the bowl spoonful by spoonful. When he is finished, there are still crumbs in
the bowl. He gets up from the table, takes the bowl to the sink, and quickly rinses it out.

He leaves the bowl in the sink; it will be dealt with later. He walks away to get his things, and then
he leaves.

The sun has not yet risen.