My Judgement Versus Theirs: A Battle Of Waste And Opinion In A Corrupt Society

“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. It adds up and 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 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.

And I will always proudly accept that.

It’s an expected outcome of the lifestyle. I don’t see anything wrong with what I’m doing either, so why not stand proudly for what I believe? I cannot be moved. I ate a woman’s discarded apple core once just to show people what I’m capable of.

Junk food just has a different meaning to most people than it does to me.

It 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 of 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.

Fall Down City

If an investigator or someone insidious ever wanted my genetic information, well they’d have no problem collecting it is all I’m saying. Woot woot! I kid but really I do leave my genetic information all over the place all the time.

One time at a baseball game, I was sweating so bad they removed me from the bleachers. My sweat puddled around where I was sitting and it began streaming out and making it’s way towards other people; this husband and wife.

People asked “Did you pour water on yourself” and others likely just assumed that I had.

When I said I hadn’t, and had no water bottle to show, everyone treated me as if I had a disease.

“Ewww!”

“Gross!”

“What’s the matter with this guy? Get him outta here!”

A home run landed a section over but it basically went unnoticed because all the focus was on me. The heat and the sweat and the sight of dozens and dozens of heads turned towards me looking concerned; I felt a lone, and scared. I felt like an outcast. I wanted someone to throw me a life jacket!

But I guess no one had ever seen a man sweat as much as they’d seen me. People where looking up and around, saying “Could something somehow poured on him?”

I was the great mystery of left field bleachers, I was the center of all the talk. And I was extremely self conscious about it.

Stirred up, overheated and overwhelmed into confusion, I tried to cover my face with my hands and nonchalantly faint right there at my spot on the bleachers. With my head rolling back and ending up on people’s shoes, I had failed.

“My God, what’s he doing now?!!”

“He’s on my shoes!”

“Quick! Lift your feet up!”

There was a dead fish in the left field bleachers. Sloppy, slippery, wet, limp, and now with peanut shells all over it’s face.

This was a family game, and according to many people’s opinion, what was going on with me was indecent and perverse.

No one wanted to help me up. I floundered. Some people even discouraged other people from helping me.

“Ew, you don’t wanna touch him.”

“Well someone should do something.”

I could feel the stadium filth on my face. And I could hear the voices of hundreds of disgruntled and disconcerted ballpark attendees. I wished and prayed for a rain shower. I was almost incapable of staying awake. I sat myself up and I began mumbling about the rain.

“Could use a nice shower right now, what’s the forecast?”

See, rain would’ve bailed me out. Everyone concerned with their own dryness would’ve been running and seeking cover, instead of out loud, expressing their disgust towards me.

Rain would’ve been the greatest gift I could’ve received at this moment, but it was extremely unlikely, and just not happening.

I was with friends from work and they had never seen me like this. They were like “whoa man, we never knew you were like this.”

They’ve seen me sick and sneezing and hacking and all the fluids I can produce that way. But in an air conditioned office, they never knew about my life as a sweater.

They were embarrassed and were looking at me like “pull it together man.” But I can’t stop myself from sweating. It’s not some sort of conscious decision I make to sweat as much as this.

An EMT and a few security guards arrived at the request of whoever was bothered enough to go and seek help. Maybe there’s a phone number to report wrongful or suspicious activity? I don’t know, but at no point did anyone say “we’re getting you help, they’re on their way,” so I guess it was done anonymously.

Medical and security took me by the arm and were to “escort me into the shade.” In my mind, I couldn’t tell if they were going to give me a check up and upgrade my seat out of courtesy and necessity (they can’t send me back out to the bleachers I figured; they shouldn’t!). Or I couldn’t tell if they were making moves and were in the process of kicking me out of the ballpark.

Whatever the reason, I felt as though I was a disgusting inconvenience, and they were trying to move me out of sight. I was the hideous undesirable, in need of exile. I’m surprised they didn’t come and retrieve me in hazmat suits.

“God forbid a ball gets hit there and we have that on camera! We can’t let this happen in my ballpark! It’d be a scandal!” I imagined the team owner saying, standing in their box and staring at me through binoculars after being informed of a “situation” in left field.

Being escorted down the row and up the aisle, the crowd parted like the sea. I looked into eyes of many while passing, those eyes all looked away. Did I do something wrong in a past life?

But even with the help of people who’s job it was my safety, it still couldn’t be promised that I was in good hands. And by “good hands” I mean people with a strong grasp.

Still I’m like a fish, and fish do slip.

I hold no grudges against them; my pores are like faucets; I could’ve slipped out the hands of anyone. Fainting for me is not super common like, having stomachaches or indigestion is. But it does happen more often with me than most people.

My ballpark handlers took me over to first aid where I had my pupils checked, my blood pressure checked, and I was given a free water bottle! To top it all off, they allowed me to sit in an empty seat that was usually designated for people with wheelchairs and disabilities. It had been an upgrade!

I reunited with my co-workers later on to tell them about my good change in luck. They all sounded tired and indifferent. I can believe that, they probably got too much sun in those bleachers.

What a good thing it was that I got forced out in the 3rd inning.

My sweat, my falls, my apparent lifelessness—it made for a good crowd reaction. Not a positive reaction but it made for an interesting time.

My body is like one of those junk cars from the movies, where it’s barely lugging along and there’s hubcaps and bolts popping off all over; I am a man in constant ruin; I leave noticeable evidence of myself wherever I go.

Still nothing can ever compare to the panics I cause with my nose bleeds though.

Those look like violence.

That’s when other people start fainting.