The brick

When I’ve fallen off the wagon, as I have these last several months, I go to bed with what I have come to think of as The Brick in my stomach. You can’t lie with it pressing down on you, and you can’t lie on top of it. So you adopt a kind of foetal position to sleep, and then wake up at intervals with either a dead arm, dead leg, or (worst of all) a dead ear. Dead ear is very painful as it comes back to life. You had that?

The Brick reminds you of what you have done the day before. It keeps you awake, and its buddy nausea often shows up to keep you company as you lie there. Often The Brick will still be there when you wake up. You’ll get up, shower, dress and go to work still smuggling this thing under your clothes, in your abdomen. You skip breakfast because The Brick prevents you from feeling hungry, sometimes long into the afternoon. Then, suddenly, you will feel your mood and your blood sugar plummet. You will get up from your desk, as though in a trance, and you will walk down the stairs to the canteen. You will buy two chocolate bars, and in your head you will say ‘one is for me and one is for my buddy’ in case the canteen attendant can read your mind – you don’t want him/her to think you’re greedy, do you?

By this time The Brick is long gone. You’re hungry, and you think Man, I have been so good today, hardly ate anything. That’s why I deserve these chocolate bars. Before you know it, they are gone. Now you have the rest of the afternoon to get through sitting at your desk, that incredible energy buzzing around your brain, the taste of sugar dancing around on your tongue. Your pants feel a bit tight again, but it’s not The Brick so it’s okay.

On your way home you buy a load more shit to eat. You raid the cupboards at your brother-in-law’s house and discover CocoPops. You fucking love CocoPops. You eat 3 bowls with milk. On top of everything else. When you finally get into bed…?

The Brick.

When all else fades away and you drift to sleep, numbed by carbohydrates and self-loathing, there will always be The Brick.

Until you die.

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