outwait outrun outwit


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Hunger seems a simple word, doesn't it? I remembered last night that my parents sometimes read this diary (mom had confessed two years ago that she would look up the bigger words in the dictionary) so I thought I should clarify what I meant by hunger before they start thinking that I was a living skeleton, as they can take things quite literally. Although I do remember mom telling dad that it was poetry, and that was when I really felt she understood what I was doing, why I wrote what I wrote, instead of doing Respectable Grownup Things like Making Lots of Money.

There are many types of hunger, I thought last night. There is the hunger that we are used to, the hunger of the homeless and the hunger inscribed on wasted bodies from faraway places in newspaper and magazine photographs. This is hunger newspaper readers generally do not understand nor will ever experience. They do not connect their own desires, consumption, or waste to these bodies, but they do feel for them. "How did things get this way?" the newspaper readers ask themselves, before they put away their newspapers, put on their shoes, and run down to the supermarket to load their carts with bananas from Honduras and cheese from France and wine from New Zealand.

In the scheme of this entry, which is for my parents, I will not consider that hunger, even though it had to be considered first before I wrote the rest of this entry. The other hungers are more simple and, perhaps, fundamental (well, as long as you're not distracted by the first hunger that newspaper readers - including myself - cannot understand, only describe, as in what the body undergoes and how long it has to live under such conditions, and if we're more forthright, why it happens in the first place).

There are other hungers, young hunger and old hunger and very subtle hunger that you don't realize you are capable of, which sneaks on you during the quiet moments between updating your Facebook account and Googling an old schoolmate's name, between checking the latest texts on your mobile and clicking through the stream of news on your Google Reader. Hunger you have to seize, in order to know its name. Hunger you forget, because you're so busy goddamn living. Hunger that reminds you you're alive, and maybe hopeful, devouring oxygen like a lit firecracker.

Is it something to quell? to kill? as if a living thing with a mind of its own? Is it to be ashamed of, hunger? Is hunger fundamental, like I wrote a few minutes ago, or is it something we can will away if everyone got what they wanted in the world, and everything was just and beautiful?


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