Warnings in October 2005

After a long day of work, I was hungry. I’d worked until four in the morning at the bar, having meetings about everything from promoting underexposed local art to running magnetic message boards. Then I worked at killing the mosquitoes in between fits of a nightmare-ridden sleep. I worked at drowning out the drilling noises by singing in the shower. I worked at not getting angry that I’d picked the only mooncake in the box with an egg yolk. In the heat, I worked at walking as slowly as possible while collecting name cards and peeping into places about to open. I worked at sifting through 63 pages of news for the Hangzhouvian. Then it was six o’clock, I had forgotten to eat lunch and I was as hungry as a hyena. The cover of some magazine on the desk had a picture of a pizza—the kind that still droops down even after you fold it in your hand. I needed a pizza, but there was no number to call. I would have had to wait at least four cigarettes to get a taxi, and walking to get one was out of the question. Then I realized how stupid I was acting. I went downstairs, got an order of rice and gongbao chicken, mashed them together, washed it all down with a cold Coke, and was set. Cravings are just time wasters. I warn you not to let them waste your time.

I waste too much of my time. I get hungry, and then I crave one of my favorite foods. Often, that food isn’t available. The shop is too far away. My Grandma is not around to cook it. I don’t have the ingredients or I am just too broke to buy it. Then I think of the time I last had that food. That was at my Mom’s house. How I miss that. My brother stole the pepperoni off my slice. How I miss him. We watched football games. How I miss those. My team lost. How I don’t miss that. What a waste of time. In university we used to sit on the bus and talk about food all the time. We all hadn’t eaten in days and weigh-ins were hours away. It was about this roast beef sandwich and that curry chicken. All of us were dying except for that one dude in the back with his headphones on. He was in the lightest class, probably lost the most weight, and all he would do is stare out the window listening to music. On the way home, he would always crack the best jokes. He would always be in a great mood because he rarely lost. He did it right. Forget what you don’t have. Kick cravings in the ass. Get your stuff done. Time is too short.

By Tim Hoerle