Comfort and Food


“Midnight Snack,” by Felice House, available on Generous Art – 40% of proceeds to charity.

Here’s my food post:

I eat in the night.

This used to be an occasional thing, but I’ve come to realize it’s every night, now. I get up around 2:30 or 3 a.m. to pee, like an elderly person, every single night. And almost every single night, on my way back to bed, I HAVE to eat something.

I’ll be so close to still-asleep that I’ll be stumbling around, with hardly any control of my limbs, but I’ll do whatever work I need to do to eat. Because it’s the most pleasurable eating of the day.

If I have snacks in the house – chocolate or cookies or granola bars – I eat that. If I don’t (I usually don’t) I’ll stand there in the dark middle of the night and make toast with tons of peanut butter melting on it. I could just go back to sleep, but instead I lean on the counter watching the coils glow. Then stand over the sink lapping up warm melty peanut butter, crunching crumbs all over the place.

I lied. I usually take it back to bed. I’m neurotic so sometimes I pull the covers up, half-make the bed, sit on top so I won’t have crumbs in the sheets.

I’ve thought about why this happens. Am I too restrictive with myself during the day? No, not really. I eat chocolate and I eat sausages and I eat bagels slathered in strawberry cream cheese regularly. Also, beer. I eat as many vegetables as I can manage (I’m a bit lazy about cooking), so I don’t think I’m nutrient-deprived. I think it just has something to do with nothing ever being quite enough.

I’m asleep but I want the day to continue, I want to get more pleasure and flavor out of it. Writing takes willpower and even though I feel like I never do enough work lately, I feel constantly “on.” At any given moment, I’m either thinking about my project, actively working on it, or feeling like I should. I turn down invitations and I miss museum exhibitions and I stay inside for hours and hours on beautiful days. And of course it’s all worth it, but I think when I’m in sleepy, reptilian-brain-mode, I grab for whatever pure satisfaction is sitting around.

About Sarah Perry

Memoirist. Roller derby skater. Teacher. Midnight snacker.