It’s Thursday at 22.24 O’clock and I’m standing in the cold outside a street kiosk waiting for my vegetarian hamburger. I look around the street for people, not anyone I know, just people. The otherwise busy street Rörstrandsgatan in Stockholm is completely empty. It’s just me and the man behind the kiosk walls making my dinner. I’ve just come home from an after work at Laika with my college and friend Linn and her friend Alexander. We drank beers and talked about work, life and other things. This particular nice event was the reason for my burger situation. I was starving since a beer diet sound good in theory but in reality, it’s working the opposite ways – you get even more hungry. Not on the first two beers, about then life is good. But on the third you start to crave something to actually chew on.
After a couple of minutes outside the kiosk, I get my food and I start walking towards my apartment. I hold the burger close to my body and constantly look around me. What if somebody sees me? Buying junk food on a Thursday night all alone, what a shame! As I start running the final stretch to my apartment (half the reason is that I’m ridiculous hungry, half the reason is to come home to a safe non-judgemental place) I’m starting to reflect on my weird behaviour. Why I’m I ashamed to buy a veggie burger when I hadn’t eaten since lunch? I would be crazy not to buy it! When it comes to it, I reckon that I have always been ashamed when I have been eating food late at night. I ask myself why?
We have all been hit by the desire to be perfect and together. A together person doesn’t eat junk food in the middle of the night or binge watch Friends for the hundredth time. A together person has healthy food in the refrigerator and definitely watches something new that nourishes them and make them grow as a person. I guess buying junk food alone late at night goes against my image of the together person I want to be (or used to).
I have in my adult years let go of being perfect and all that stuff you were worried about in your youth. But sometimes the traits of the image still live inside me, hence the burger shame. The next time I’m gonna try to eat it proudly on the streets, facing my fears. And yes, I’m at my about hundredth rerun of Friends still being amused.