An early change was going freelance: I could slowly shift my work to evenings and nights, to the sunless time.
But my friends were diurnal, so the shift was slow. We met for working lunches; we met for supper and movies.
The first time food made me nauseous I spent the evening throwing up. My last lunch was a mushroom toastie.
I didn’t upgrade my membership at my regular club — instead, I bought feeding rats from pet shops. One every few days was enough, and they were cheaper.
I told none of my friends. Their thoughts on me selling at the club were already clouded — the scene, they said, was for posers and self harmers, was capitalist pressure to denigrate humanity.
Then the rats weren’t enough. I upgraded my membership and I fumbled with learning to feed myself again.
Sunlight began to hurt.
“I’m working on a big project,” I told friends. “I can’t get together regularly.”
“I just need space to handle my stuff,” I said.
“Okay, maybe I can see you tonight — not sure when I’ll be able to come out again,” I said.
But that was a mistake, and I was lectured on their diurnal beliefs about club life, about nightlife.
When do I tell them?
Contractors boarded up my bedroom windows and made me a sealed space to sleep.
And I wonder, while I wait for torpor and dreams to take me, whether I need to tell them? Could I just disappear?