I try to keep track of the nights by carving lines into the columns in the Ryerson lobby. The days run together, a blur of subtitles and Grolsch. At first, I missed eating off plates, but I’ve been working on an ointment – a sort of experimental salve – that I think will help me stop having to eat entirely, so that I don’t have to eat with my hands, huddled in a lineup with my fellow survivors.
The first recipe gave me a painful rash, but now the salve seems to be working. I’ve begun to simulate a sort of photosynthesis, absorbing energy from the light of the projector through my skin. I have to apply the paste to my hands and face each morning, and I know it looks strange, but I’m living about 80% off film screenings now and I am confident that I will survive this way until the end of the ordeal.
The Chinese food leftovers that fed me during the first 80 days have developed a fuzzy purple layer of mould, which I used as the starter for my paste. Others complain occasionally about missing their old lives, but I’ve adapted, and I am getting stronger.