“Age is just a number,” I say, as I place my sandwich inside it’s plastic bag. Numbers. Expiration dates. I pack my own lunch. I never throw anything out and therefore I save a lot.
I also risk a lot too.
But this stomach of mine is trained and conditioned like a warrior. In this one bedroom apartment, we don’t “throw things out.” And by we I mean me, but it’s a house rule, so it applies to everyone who comes through, if they ever come through.
I don’t waste food. I’d rather die! Bring it!
Those left over and forgottens in the far back corner of the refrigerator?
Well now I remember.
That green mold?
It hasn’t killed me yet!
That black mold?
I can dig it out. I can make things work.
I like to boast my iron gut. The exile my colleagues have given me is an honor; it’s proof of my commitment. They’re all weaker and they know it. All those who have witnessed me eat lunch have responded towards me with nothing less than anger and disdain. For the majority of my colleagues, they’ve had enough.
“Are you trying to poison yourself?” asked Cindy in accounting.
“You’ve gotten our attention, you can now stop,” said Jeff who restocks the vending machine.
You don’t even really work here Jeff. Move along Jeff.
But I will never stop bringing my “soiled and disgusting” lunches to work. And I will always accept these types of responses with great pleasure.
They said they would call the health department on me, they said they would all report me again, and one man, even had his hand hovering above the fire alarm, and was contemplating pulling it.
“I think we should evacuate. This air isn’t safe to breath!” our boss Nile panicked.
But as they stirred and panicked, I smirked and took another bite, and then even chomped it with my mouth open for all to see.
“Mwhahahaha!” I cackled, with crumbs pouring out of my mouth and onto my lap.
“I’m gonna p—” one co-worker said, before running out the cafeteria with a hand over their mouth. It was only seconds later that everyone else followed, never to return.
That honestly, is an expected outcome of the lifestyle, and I really don’t see anything wrong with it either. So why not stand proudly for what I believe? I cannot be moved.
But it’s always been about the food waste.
“Spoiled” food has a different meaning to most people than it does to me.
I don’t believe in it.
All food is good food.
Ask yourself, “How many pounds of food do I throw out a year?”
If you can’t answer honestly, it’s likely because you’re ashamed.
But unlike most society, I have no shame.
My food waste number is a negative. I go out looking for spoiled and tossed food to eat once everything at home has been finished. I pick off tables that have yet to be bused when I go out to restaurants. Why even order an appetizer?
Aside from my convictions regarding food, and my passion for battling food waste, it’s worth mentioning that there’s at least one more thing that I’m also really really good at. And that is my job. I am really really good at my job. I can say this with total confidence, because out of all the complaints I have received over the years, not a single one has equalled a termination, yet.
I remain employed. I remain on the winning side.
When I eat in the cafeteria alone every day at work, I have a feeling of ownership and victory; the cafeteria is my conquered territory.
Everyone goes out to eat. Or eats at their desk. Or in their car.
The warrior gut continues on and does not compromise or relent! Ever! The warrior gut will conquer and conquer again!
Sometimes the challenge is mold or staleness, other times what’s most difficult to ingest is the reality of other people’s lives, and the feelings I get when I think about the contents of their kitchen waste baskets.
I know that at least I live my life with honor.
And I’m sincerely not sure if everyone is getting a way from me, or if they’re giving me my space.
But it makes everywhere I go feel just like home.
The public offers me the same kind of alone time that my apartment also does.