It still seems to be a long time until I no longer need food, water or air, and here I am in the foyer of the supermarket, an empty wire trolley idling beneath my imperceptibly trembling fingers. The light is bright, and the smell is of nothing at all. My mind is blank. There is a route to be followed: straight ahead, turn right then right again, travelling aisle by aisle until (I am planning ahead) I end up in the wines, beers and spirits. My experience in these matters tells me that I will have run out of money by then, unless I am careful. I will have to be careful.
But almost immediately, things start to go wrong. Here I am, transfixed by the twitching red muscles in the meat aisle. This isn't very good. I take a deep breath and move away. Nothing to see here. There is the rattle of teeth, of fingernails, bones, in the cardboard cereal packets, sloshings of lumpy fluids in jars and tins, the muffled howls of the doomed. I jerk my head away from the cans of 'processed meats', the hanks of hair in the salad bags.
In the frozen food cabinets; plastic sacks of severed fingers, clingfilm stretched fetishistically over pale limbs, bent double and tied with white string, blood pooling darkly in the polystyrene trays.
Death warrants - signed, but with the name left blank - amongst the Sunday papers. The zone behind the translucent doors.
I can't do it. Looking determinedly straight ahead, I remove a bottle (whiskey? vodka? I am unsure) and stand in line at the checkout. Do I have a loyalty card? I stare in fear at my interrogator.
"Yes," I whimper. "I mean, no."