The plate was packed to the rim, steaming hot sitting on top of the table in the small cold room. The day outside was bright, but windy and cold. So cold the humid locked house felt just slightly warmer than the outside. He sat at the chair in front of the plate, and shoveled steaming spoonfuls of chicken rice and fried fish in absolute frenzy. The steam from his breath mixing briefly with the steam coming from the spoonful that he was shoveling in.
He did not flinch at the temperature of the food, as if his mouth, like him, was devoid of any feeling. Shoveling food in as if filling the whole inside. There was no purpose to the eating, he just ate. No attention was paid to the dog that was standing on its hind legs waiting for scraps to fall. The chewing was tough and restless, not hurried nor purposeful. As if in every spoonful from the heaped plate his life depended on.
Bread was then grabbed by the mouthful, barely leaving time for the spoonful of rice to be swallowed. Chewing was being alive, and it could not stop. Any stoppage in that activity was the end of the world, so the split second there was some room in the mouth it was filled with another heaped spoonful, or another mouthful of bread. More steam coming out of the plate mixing with the exhalation, mixing the inside and the outside as a single continuous.
Eating as if the void was never filled.
Eating as tomorrow may never come.
Eating as his life depended on it.
After the plate was emptied, he reached for an apple. Snapped the twig from its top and bit into it with a thunderous crunch. There again mastication was a costly process that could not be interrupted, chewing non stop in the same cadence as if the apple had committed the most horrible sin of existence and needed to be redeemed.
As if death by mastication was the only penalty for the mere crime of existence.
As if he was the only judge, juror and executioner in the world.
All living and formerly living matter left for his perusal and enjoyment.
Life for the sake of life, for the sake of his own existence, all was there to be devoured.
All was there to satisfy his only craving, the filling of his inner void.