Sunday, November 16, 2008

a thousand calories per hour

Duncan Blitz was on a binge. For 13 weeks before his departure date, he had eaten his way through the kitchen. From the freezer, food he didn’t like: chicken, sausage, steak, frozen string beans, ice cream that was not chocolate. From the refrig, packaged cheese, soft cheese, cheese that was not goat cheese. From the pantry, salted nuts, linguine. With the last of the flour and crisco, he rolled a crust and baked an apple tart. He fried an apple and ate that. He broiled apple slices, and ate those with greek yoghurt. He put a blop of jam in a cup of yoghurt and at that too.

Duncan served himself at the dining table, picked up his plate, moved to the coffee table and watched Rachel Maddow, or Morning Joe, Andrea Mitchell or Colbert.

Then his trip was cancelled, and Duncan began to starve. He ate salmon trims on little square crackers. He made a plate of humous on chopped lettuce, with tortillas and olives. He squeezed four oranges. He baked a potato for dinner and drank a foaming mug of warm milk, injected with a double hit of espresso, for breakfast. But he had no paycheck and did not buy food.

For lunch, toast buttered with cinnamon and sugar, until he ran out of butter. For desert, nestles quik, several spoonsful, in an inch or two of milk, nuked.

Duncan Blitz made a hundred calls and stayed in his pajamas till he finally got a work. On payday, he bought a ton of food and ate every two hours. He made a turkey dinner, a roast duck, a baked ham with greens and sweet potato pie. He cooked crispy striped bass and a rack of lamb. He went back to work three and a half days later.


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