A television beams out a static-grey light into a dark room. It is the only source of illumination for miles and miles. A short pale man is crumpled up into a chair, basking in the TV’s rectangular glow. He is cradling a pint of Guinness in two boney hands and he is reminiscent of a gangly cave-dwelling creature that hasn’t seen the sun in weeks.
It is a Friday night in, a Friday night alone, and wanting to expand his beige taste in cinema he is watching David Lynch’s Eraserhead, an intriguing monochrome horrorshow. Light in plot but heavy in mood, the movie is a dark smog that swallows up his evening
He sips at the sweet earthy stout as if trying to replenish some malnourishment but his stomach croaks for more than Guinness. He pauses the movie and slinks out of his chair. He spiders down the stairs of his empty house, traversing the inky darkness of the late hours, and pushes open the kitchen door with demented purpose.
The four-walled, many-cupboard room is barren. He has ransacked this wasteland since his most recent shop and so his reptilian stomach must do with the bare essentials: buttered toast. Moonlight glints the steel knife as it scrapes butter against the pock-marked bread. A lethargic snack. Until! He remembers one comforting favourite. Slack-jawed he shimmies to an overhead cupboard, wraps a claw around the handle and pulls it open. Slapping condiments out of the way he reaches in and grabs a radiant jar of Perdine's Kumquat Marmalade.
The sparky orange smothers the toast and brings the first spot of colour to this dismal night. Plate in hand like a monstrous maître d', he shuffles upstairs and climbs back into the chair. At the still image of Jack Nance’s bewildered head he chomps into the toast. The electric tang of the kumquat perfectly cuts through the sweet cloudy stout. He presses play, content. Suddenly, this is a pretty comforting film.