Hobo University: Day 2
The walk from the bushes to the uni is a bit of an adventure. First, you must make your way on the stepping boulders that provide a sketchy crossing over fetid sewage water. Friz glides over them; however, I have a new pair of shoes (for travelling – don’t judge me), and am not used to having my feet covered, so each step fills me with slippery fear.
Next is the plover gauntlet. We run across a large open field while two plovers dive bomb us. Like tactical fighters, they come from opposing angles simultaneously, attempting to hit the back of our skulls with their poisonous wing tips before they spread out to prepare for another attack. I wave our tiny blue micro towel as defence (or surrender), but it does little to perturb them. When we reach safety, Friz realises she has dropped her uni card in the middle of the battlefield, and we charge back to retrieve it. Now every bird squawk and chirp fills me with adrenaline and anxiety – it feels weird to not be at the top of the food chain anymore.
We have another shower in neighbouring stalls. When my heat turns on, Friz’s turns off; when her door shuts, my door opens. This see-saw battle for hygienic supremacy is pretty funny.
“I’m not really hungry today,” I confess to Friz. “I actually feel energetic as fuck”.
“Yeah – that’s ‘cause your body is eating your own fats,” she lectures, being a biology lecturer.
“Fasting tells your body to digest all the gross fats and processed shit that gets lodged around your organs and digestive system.”
“Yeah – I feel strong and fit enough to hunt right now, this is amazing,” I shout.
Who knows how long this will last, but I am going to vibe the no food thing for as long as I can and am definitely not going back to the tantalising Guild.
I am heading to Ms. Friz’s tute now to learn about reproductive organs.
Watching Ms. Friz manhandle a plastic, flaccid penis in front of eight giggly freshmen is more funny than sexy. I have often thought that genitals replicate one’s personality, and when shown models of the penis – simple, crude and rudimentary – compared with the vajayjay – a fleshy Rubik’s cube – I am reassured that I will never figure the complexities of the female brain.
For the last three hours, I have been intermittently studying To the Lighthouse, which, as you English lit kids out there will know, dabbles in stream of consciousness, free association and indirect monologues. It basically allows the mind to drain its thoughts – like a spilled jar of ink spreading to the corners of a page, conveying a spectrum of feelings and emotions and memories that are forever mingling in our consciousness. It is, however, especially difficult to analyse techniques or even write a sentence – a small, basic, well-formed sentence – when distractions are abound like cars driving past on the grass and the warm smell of food wafting; small ducks attacking students ankles – though the ducks are not alone in their predation or distraction – plovers; Facebook; hunger pains; pee breaks; water fill ups; and watching beautiful girls glide past in evanescence – I wonder if her name’s Rhiannon, wait, album’s over – better change it. What to listen to? Click the computer screen, see the window, where was I, oh yeah writing the essay, but which part? Better click back… and I am in Facebook again, this time ranting about John Lydon’s rant about Russel Brand’s rant and wondering how long I have sat here without food, and how to analyse my own writing – I just drank coffee and typed when I rattled out that short story; I didn’t intend to use any confusing techniques.
I just saw an old lady throw out a massive plate of chips and a couple of leaves of lettuce. I’m going back for that tonight, once I have fasted for 30 hours, fuck yeah.
I had a massive poi session in the middle of the university, blasted Justice and spun the balls around until I got dizzy and my nose burnt on the inside. I think exercising during a fast fucks you up.
Went to a poetry lecture and failed to concentrate for a single minute in the two hours (apart from when two old ladies bickered about whether Sylvia Plath should die in an oven or not). Students and plates of hot, sizzling of food whir around Friz and I. One girl carries in a plate of chicken and chips after the break and Friz doesn’t stop watching her until she is finished and the empty plate is in the bin.
Water has started to taste like sugar and I feel quite light and dizzy. Fasting is a strange process. I have become hyper aware of food. I cannot pull my gaze from people’s sandwiches, Snickers bars, juice and fruit. I think my body is attempting to drag me into hibernation, forcing me to conserve what energy remains. I shall continue writing once I eat.
I’m coming for you, chips.
I start skating around the university in desperate need of food. I check all the bins but they must have been emptied earlier, the chips are gone, only clean black bin bags remain. I skate past the Guild and see a warm glow, engulfing students who are all laughing and drinking and smiling and eating and I want to join them but know it would be cheating.
Some old security cunt warns me for skateboarding on the non-skateboarding pathway and tells me to stick to the skateboarding pathway – this is as students are trying to study and it is too loud for them. It is nine o’clock and it’s pretty much just me and the plovers and one girl sitting on skype. I want to tell him that just because he is a security guard it doesn’t mean he has to be a dick but instead I sit down and wait for Friz. Meanwhile a little leaf blower man appears from some bushes and starts blowing loud hot air all over the skype girl.
Friz finishes and we head to the dumpsters behind the brassiere (it’s actually called that). At this point I am not even hungry, not in the traditional sense of imagining up pizza toppings and sandwich combinations, I just know that I have to eat. The dumpster immediately provides, as they always do, and I scoff some curry and fish cakes straight from a greasy bin liner. Then I hit the jackpot – the offcuts of a jaffle cake, still within its box. I devour it – I have to relearn to eat, the sugar pulses through my weak body, rejuvenating me with every mouthful. Friz warns that I am ruining all the hard work of the fast by eating processed shit, but we both know I did it for the mind not the body. Meanwhile she just stands there smiling, having not eaten for two days, watching me gorge on this delicious cake, what an animal.