It’s an interesting thing, hunger, there are those stitches you get when there is no food in your stomach, and then there’s the hunger you get when you are in need of a fix, when the drugs or alcohol you have sustained yourself on has all left your body. There is also the hunger one feels emotionally, when you realize it is later in your life than it seems, when you feel an emptiness that’s not quite tangible, when your dreams and your goals have all disappeared, when you’ve become numb and forgot how to cry, that sort of hunger makes a person desperate, but desperate without a focus.
You wander; you begin to feel like those zombies you always feared becoming that wander the streets at night, staying in the shadows, hidden underground. This is when your soul begins to unravel, when the darkness becomes comfortable, and the sunlight and the open spaces begin to feel cumbersome and violating. The hunger you feel then cannot be fed by scraps, or drugs, that kind of hunger is produced by the loss of recognition for yourself. This is when you are lost; you’ve gone too deep to see light any longer, like being caught in a snowstorm, a white out where you can no longer see anything but the lack of color all around you and you don’t know which way to go, there’s nothing to hold onto, there’s no one to hold your hand.
So you survive. It’s very simple, you look out for number one, don’t trust anyone, don’t associate with anyone, and stay in the shadows, the only thing you have to do is stay alive. Close the doors on what is left of the young boy, take what’s left of that innocence and store it someplace out of site, put it away, there’s no place for it here. There’s no place for dreams here either, there is just you. You begin to feel like you are living inside of a suit, one that’s a little too big for you, when you touch your skin it doesn’t feel like yours and if you catch a glimpse of you in a store window late at night, under the light of a street lamp, you barely recognize it, but even though it looks like someone you don’t know, there is something there, deep inside your eyes that still holds on, almost like your peering into a dark cave; you know there’s something, someone in there, you can hear them moving about but you can’t quite see them. And from the inside, as you look out through that eyes of that old plastic mask your mom bought at the Woolworths for Halloween, that had the rubber strap holding it against your face, you try and scream but no-one seems to hear you. You watch as they all walk by, never noticing you, smiling and laughing as they walk in the sunlight.