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Issue 6

Garden of Feedin’

Deepti Jayakrishnan

I’m living a lifestyle that’s been meticulously organized into little unhealthy blocks. Every day is the same day, and that day is Self-Love Saturday. How far can I take my pursuit of umami without crossing the limits of self-care?

Every night, around 12:30 AM, I’ve been getting a regular craving for something freud and cheesy. Oh, did I say freud? I meant fried. Silly. 

Well, I used to be a master of self-control a few months ago. I don’t care if you’re hungry, I’d say to myself. I don’t care if you’re hungry; pandemic or no pandemic, you are not gonna late-night-snack. That’s illegal. To be fair, many things were illegal on a personal level back then. I had my private Constitution and life was a law-abiding citizen. Eventually, of course, I snapped. Every day is the same day, and that day is Self-Love Saturday. No more denying myself pleasure! I had to improvise, adapt and overcome, and that began with the Forbidden Food. I chomped down on some grilled cheese sandwiches nightly, and added on a sugary bowl of cornflakes for good measure. Sometimes I’d go a little crazy and down ketchup by the bottle. Call me a rebel, I don’t care.

I was living the hedonistic dream, even with all the resulting acne.

The things I do in the name of self-care, I swear. Sometimes I can’t believe that I’m in this body, because we both seem to have different ideas of The Good. It’s an ethical dilemma. How far can I take my pursuit of umami without crossing the limits of self-care? Is my Midnight Appetite an omen of the degeneracy that’s to come?

I ought to be concerned about the great decline my lifestyle is taking. Surely this is a turn for the worse, and I ought to fix it. And yet, I revel in it. 

A phase of any sort would be well-appreciated in these times. It reminds me that time passes: a thought that has otherwise been a sore point. At age 12, I decided that I was done growing. It was a conscious exercise of agency. However, time was uncooperative, as usual. It paid no heed to me and moved thoughtlessly onward, dragging me along with it. And conversely, it would trudge reluctantly the moment I’d have an uneventful bore of a day. Such lax behavior is what I’ve come to expect from this stupid dimension.

In light of this, it seems awfully odd that 2020, perhaps the most eventful year of my existence, is passing by so slowly. This year, a teenager from Florida masterminded a bitcoin scam and hacked Kanye West, Elon Musk and Bill Gates’ Twitter accounts. Kim Jong Un supposedly died and came back. Unexplained monoliths are sprouting up and disappearing around the world as we speak. If my past habits are anything to go by, I’m supposed to be binge-watching 2020. And yet, here I am, moping on the daily. Am I facing a genuine lack of stimulation even while living in a political-sci-fi-soap opera or am I just a lil brat? 

Perhaps it’s a bit of both. After all, I’m living a lifestyle that’s been meticulously organized into little unhealthy blocks. I spend all my time at home. I social-distance to the point where I can sense people’s auras from a mile away. I schedule designated balcony sunshine hours for myself. I’m really out here taking precautions like a beast. No wonder I’m not experiencing the craziness that is 2020. I’m too busy sanitizing my hands.

Last year I had an A1 cinnamon roll from a little hole-in-the-wall bakery in a town I’d never been to before. I suddenly remembered this spot of heaven during one particular balcony hour and felt a sudden urge to taste a good cinnamon roll. Where I live, this isn’t easily achievable. After a month or so of regularly remembering and putting the thought aside, I finally found a new bakery nearby that sells cinnamon rolls, and placed an order. Walking out of the lobby to the gate of my apartment complex, I was suddenly hit by this incredibly alien feeling. Oh my god. I’m outside. This feels so foreign. There was wind blowing in my hair and wide open space and glaring sunlight all around, for the first time in 6 months. I felt like the whole world could hear me think “Wow, the ground feels different.” I suddenly remembered my cinnamon rolls. Snapped back to reality. Gathered them and hastened back home.

Picture Credit: ISTOCK/YINYANG

Deepti Jayakrishnan is a student of Philosophy and Computer Science at Ashoka University. She likes windy days and judging books by their covers.

We publish all articles under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noderivatives license. This means any news organisation, blog, website, newspaper or newsletter can republish our pieces for free, provided they attribute the original source (OpenAxis).

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