2021-10-26

Woe and sandwiches

Quotation of the Day for April 25, 2007:

“I now know why my own childhood packed lunches were such joyless, dispirited affairs. It was vengeance. And despair. Somehow it is very hard to feel inspired to make sandwiches at 8.15 in the morning. I just stare into the fridge.

“As Nietzsche said, peer long enough into the fridge (the most common translations use the word “abyss”, but his true meaning is clear) and after a while the fridge stares back at you. Such fugitive joy as there is at that time of day vanishes utterly. What now? Tuna and sweetcorn again? I do not have writer’s block. I have sandwich block.”

– Nicholas Lezard, “Slack Dad”, Guardian 22.10.2003.

I’ve been trying to take my lunch to work lately instead of buying it. It’s healthier, more sociable, less expensive, and good for my French (it’s mostly my Francophone colleagues who seem to eat lunch in our office kitchen). But yeah, that quote nails it.

If only this woman would come by and make my lunch for me. Using her collection of fabulous bento stuff, of course. Unfortunately she lives in San Fran and she probably wouldn’t enjoy the commute even if she did know me, which she doesn’t.

I just know I’ll be at a Japanese supply store one day and I’ll buy an expensive pile of cool bento equipment thinking grand thoughts of perfect, colourful, nutritionally-balanced lunches like the ones she makes. Then the next morning I’ll be staring into the abyss of the fridge, thinking “sandwich” yet again.