the town I ate

I ambled along the promenade of a quiet sea-side town. This was the coast I knew well; giant sea gulls, so many shades of blue in wooden B&B signs, glossy blue Victorian style front doors, rough white-wash sea walls, the smell of chips, down in the harbour. I went along one of the side streets, dipping in and out of book shops and peering in the windows of a ye olde tea room at the golden flapjacks and inflated fruit scones. Food was all I could think about.

I walked into little churchyard and sat down on a daisy rich lawn under the slow swaying ewe trees. I lit a joint which a friend had flung upon me as a goodbye present prior to his travels through Africa. It was a sweet and bitter affair which had me coughing gently into the clean sea air that Victorians used to think cured them of all ills. My mind plodded around my surroundings, marvelling for a while at the weeping willow by the river and then below to the young couple who were rolling around in that early bonding stage. From a distance and with the help of the weed I was smoking they looked like monkeys dressed in modern clothes, chewing on each other like they were tentatively making their way through the outer layer of sweet fruit, which they intended to ravish. Food was everywhere.

I walked along the windblown promenade until faced with the pathway onto a wild and green cliff, the sky a mottle mix of grey and white clouds shifting with the fluidity of shadows. I looked across at a grey sea and spot an obviously American woman walking along with a golden Labrador. She had a willowy noble look in her baggy white slacks and loose striped blouse. I wondered what scents she was smelling. She looked warmly satisfied. I guessed she was smelling a variety of beautiful fragrances which formed a diffusion of well-being or perhaps deeper than that, as if she were being healed. I saw her as a tall thin piece of merengue filled with a variety of fruits. Food was everywhere.

The cliff grass was still just green in the fading light. I found myself observing it with new eyes. Unlike a poet or a nature lover I was regarding it like a wolf its prey. I got closer to it, being drawn in by its hypnotic swaying and the sheen of those succulent new blades. Slowly, like a  virgin nervously undressing, I stroked the length of one blade back and forth and suddenly my hands were gripping a whole clump of grass and stuffing it in my mouth. I tell you, food was everywhere.

Enraptured I ate more and more, then I ate sticks and flowers, stones, and soil. And rather than turning my stomach, I found an immediate new elevation in me which took me beyond the consideration of my body, I seemed to be floating around as a new form of being as if a pulsating bubble of consciousness, no longer embodied. As I scaled the cliffs and wandered around the town or even merely sat on my armchair quietened by my new found peace, I found the anxieties and duties associated with being within in a body were somehow leaving me. I began to see myself unlimited by the geography of a body. I was now a different entity.

Over the days my appetite increased, as did my capacity to consume. I made short work of entire gardens. By spring the entire northern cliff had been shaved down from an undulating W to a flat line. By the following year minus all the confused and fleeing townsfolk I had eaten the entire town.

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