Things run out

In the converted garage where I work I have my own loo. I bring out loo rolls from the house, usually three at a time, which of course last for a very long time. But not for ever. Yesterday I replenished my supply, and found myself wondering, Should I bring out more than three? Why not six? Or ten? That led to me thinking, How many loo rolls am I going to need for the rest of my life? And it’s not just loo rolls: it’s the reams of paper I use for writing and printing out my work; it’s the toner for my printer; it’s the light bulbs in my lamps; it’s soap, and toothpaste, and shaving foam, and razor blades, and dishwasher tablets, and batteries for my portable radio…

Things run out. All the time, all round me, things are running out. It’s a constant battle to stay ahead of naked need. Why can’t I bulk buy all the non-perishable goods I’ll ever need for the rest of my life, and stack them in our barn, and know for certain that I’ll never be caught short? I’m sixty-six: I’ll give myself another thirty years. That’s 10,958 days, including leap years (I think). Not much more than a hundred boxes of dishwasher tablets, at one a day, in boxes of 100. As for light bulbs, they last a couple of years, so fifteen should do me. If I buy the new LED type, which last six years, I’ll only need five.

Suddenly I’m five light bulbs off the grave. This is not a good way to think. Better to live in the present moment. So I’m on my loo and I realise I’ve failed to replace the loo roll, but at least I’m not dead.