He didn’t want to eat anymore. He’d had enough. The last comment had been the final straw. You’re frying a lot these days, it can’t be good for you.

Jack was so looking forward to his burgers for lunch. Fresh cheese rolls from Morrisons bakery, sweet chilli hummus spread, finely chopped lettuce, veggie burgers (cooked from frozen without oil). Healthy, delicious, spoilt by criticism. He ended up throwing them in the bin, untouched, appetite dissolved by aspersion.

Every meal he’d had was ruined by a comment seconds before he started eating. A medium rare rump steak was greeted with too much red meat is cancerous. A simple cheese and onion sandwich: too much bread is very fattening. He had ignored such comments for years, but eventually everyone gets worn down, thickest skin scraped down to membrane.

When Jack realised he couldn’t enjoy his favourite meal of bacon and eggs anymore, he decided to stop. Food was the staff of life, but he didn’t want to live anymore, because he didn’t want to eat, and if he didn’t eat, he would die.

He figured it would take about three weeks. A bout of food poisoning a few weeks before had trimmed away the middle aged puppy fat quite a bit, so he didn’t have as much excess to lose. If he just stopped, sticking only to water, he figured with a bit of luck he wouldn’t have to see in the New Year.

He had no enthusiasm for anything anymore. His writing, once the obsession that powered him through the day, was cast aside. The current chapter serial on his blog would remain unfinished, hanging on a cliff. His long cherished novella would go unpublished, so near yet so far. His planned stories for 2017 would remain unwritten, fade away as ghosts in the mists of his deteriorating mind. Goodbye, dreams and aspirations, we were good friends for too long, now passed like ships in the night.

He just didn’t care about anything. Friends, loves, family. They meant nothing. His own life, wellbeing, worthless, soon to be gone. Peace in lonely solitude.

Within a few days he started to hallucinate, achieving a hollow satisfaction. Light headedness gave an easy prozac sheen to the hours. He spent his mother’s birthday meal at a fine restaurant waiting for his parents in the car, when he realised he didn’t even want to ingest the soup. Christmas dinner was enjoyed lying on his bed, staring at the ceiling, while his family feasted downstairs.

He didn’t have long to go. He enjoyed the rumbling of his stomach, knowing the body was approaching shutdown. Still, his appetite didn’t return. Without desire, there was no point in continuing, ennui the killer that catches us all.

Jack smiled. It only took some minor comments to finally set him on the road to happiness, make him realise the abstract pointlessness of his existence. God bless you for the spite, thank you for the name calling, cheers for the snide bitchery, revel in your smug condescension, hope you reach this nirvana too.

Good luck everyone.

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