Friday, May 19, 2006


... for a cup of coffee, that is...

Sorry faithful readers, you know who you are, but I've been lax in my blogging commitment and ambition.

All reasonable people could care less what I put inside my body, but allow me the luxury of telling you that I've spent the past two and a half weeks on a detox program, hence the subject-line of this blog entry. 

Originally I was motivated to do this process years ago when I was an actor at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival.  As an actor I always make friends with the costume department because I know what side my toast is buttered on (though buttered toast is strictly a no-no on this detox program).  How far will he go for a joke you may ask yourself?  Until the setup creaks and groans like a top-heavy seige engine and the payoff simply negligable.  But be that as it may, I had this friend in the costume department.  After the shows went into production I saw nothing of her for a couple of weeks--maybe a month.  This is only to be expected in the theater.  But when I did see her again, several weeks later, what a profound change had occurred!  She was lean, tanned, and fit, she seemed solid, centered, and glowing!  I said, "What happened to you?  You're a babe!" 

After frowning a bit and deciding to take it as a compliment, she replied, "I did a detox."  My brow furrowing, I said, "What's that?"

And she proceeded to tell me that it was a program of diet, vitamins and exercise that is designed to help the body cleanse itself of vile impurities which we either can't digest, or that we can't sweat out, or poop out.  Pardon my Francais

So, I've had that lurking in the back of my mind for almost 10 years.  Then, three weeks ago my Dr. called me to say that my lipids and blood sugars were higher than ever.  I was up to 320 pounds, and that I needed to make some drastic changes.  I figured that a detox program might be a way to jump-start a new way of living (and eating). 

The truth of the matter is, I eat to manage and control my feelings.  That is the same reason why I drank, why I smoked, why I do almost anything pleasurable.  Not to experience pleasure--but to control it, to control anxiety, frustration, irritability, and a host of other uncomfortable sensations, including BAD MEMORIES.

Sometimes that's bad or stupid or ignorant things I've done to others, sometimes it's the torment others have foisted upon me and the impotent rage I feel as a result.

I have a feeling some of you out there are nodding your heads.... I hope I'm not alone in this.  If I am, Baby Jesus (PBUH) help me, because my next stop will have to be a cave in the desert.

So, casting aside all tangents, I've now been without sugar, caffeine, wheat, dairy, red meat, tomatoes (although I cheat on that one), corn for 2.5 weeks.  I have until next Wednesday.  But today, I don't know why, I have an incredibly POWERFUL CRAVING for a cuppa joe.  Ohh, the scalding bitter darkness of it, and the feelings of wellbeing and sensation of pleasure that results.  I can feel it on my tongue.  I can taste it.  I can recall the joy and satisfaction it brings. 

On the otherhand, my gut, which as lately begun to sound like the percussion section of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra has fallen quiescent.  The blows and gales which emanated from my southern port have becalmed themselves.  I can breathe easier.  I sweat less.  I feel stronger in my joints.

But I lack.  I LACK.  I've nothing left with which to sublimate my anxiety.  So I crave.  I shall try to withstand.  But what harm would one cup of coffee do?  It would deprive me of  being able to say I went three weeks without it!  These aren't withdrawal symptoms.  I had those two weeks ago.  These are cravings.  And I must perservere because they will pass.  I gave up nicotine in 1986.  My experience then is similar to what it is now.  Cravings pass and sometimes give way to feelings of euphoria. 

But right now, it can't happen soon enough!!

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