The next day Addison entered the cafeteria with only his metal canister in hand. “So, what’ll it be today, gents?” Addison asked before sitting down. “National politics? World affairs? The widespread delusion of the masses by the opiate known as organized religion?” This last comment had both of his former comrades heading for the exit. “Hey! Marx said it, not me!” Addison yelled after them, strictly for his own satisfaction. Addison, too, decided to leave the wornout cafeteria, and began the short journey to his house. He wasn’t going to eat when he got there.
Several days passed, with little change in Addison’s behaviour. He went home every day at lunch, both to avoid the unpleasantness of his own age group and to avoid arousing suspicion.
Addison liked to believe that he could spot anorexia from miles away. Those girls that would stand in the cafeteria line, looking either too longingly or too disgustedly at the food presented before them, and then get only coffee when they reached the front. Those girls that would go from being at least somewhat attractive in Addison’s eyes, to being complete wrecks. What Addison was doing what different than anorexia. What he sought was not an ideal body image; he was considered attractive by his peers, at least mildly so, and clearly did not suffer from any lack of selfesteem. He did not seek to understand the opposite sex; he felt that they should be the ones undertaking the effort to understand him. And though he did have financial problems, they were something that he was always able to conceal.
Though fiscal savings were not his primary objective, the money that he would save on groceries was certainly a bonus. What Addison wanted was only to rid himself of dependency, to be completely free, and therefore in complete control of his world.
By the end of the first week, the grumbles from his stomach were loud enough to be heard from all corners of the classroom. He had also stopped caring about what other people thought of him, for the most part. To Addison, the rest of society were codependent monkeys who may as well be living with Mommy and Daddy their entire lives, drinking their precious coffee, smoking their lovely cigarettes, eating their beloved food. Addison was above all that. He was something greater. He would be re-born.
He sat through History class like he always did. He usually took notes, but today he didn’t. He just paid attention and absorbed as much information as he possibly could. Boredom eventually sank in and he began to imagine himself floating above the world, through the roof of the classroom and into the sky. Addison, gently soaring through clouds. He could touch them. They dissipated as he made contact. They were beautiful, like soft white kisses of cool flame. He looked down at the sea of people, all of them: drinking, eating, smoking, breathing and not really living at all. He was truly alive, more alive than everyone down below, and more alive than ever before.
The bell rang. It was a crude wake up call from his wondrous fantasy. It was a beautiful place, and he couldn’t wait to get back.