December 7: a chicken leg

I saw my friend Nick eating a chicken leg for lunch yesterday. This got my imagination going. I needed a chicken leg for dinner. That night I went to Tesco on the way home and picked up a chicken. Popped it in the oven at 6.15. It was out and ready to eat at 7.45. I accompanied my chicken with roast potatoes, carrots, broccoli and also some apple sauce (controversial, I know, but it’s what I do). But as I sat down to eat the chicken gradually a terrible thought edged into view. I had committed a cardinal error. The chicken that my imagination had formed had been cold chicken and this was warm chicken. It did not fill the chicken shaped hole in my imagination adequately. Oh, I ate the chicken, the potatoes, the carrots, the broccoli, the apple too, but it was contre-coeur, against my better instincts. Tonight, of course, I have some cold chicken available (I hadn’t eat the entire bird). But where is Nick eating his cold chicken leg when you need him? In South Kensington. And I have been south of the river all day. And who’s to say he’s on cold chicken again today anyway? And who’s to say it would be Nick that my fickle imagination appointed to dictate the needs of my anarchic appetite? It could be any random individual called up to play the role of piper to my poor rat of a free will.

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