Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Trying to Fit In

Among the general population, I am, relatively speaking, not indulgent. As writers go, my lifestyle is austere--I don't smoke or do drugs, or drink excessively, or take lovers. But at work, I am the sugar-eating black sheep. I am the toxic yeast creature, also known as the Dairy Slut, sitting at the front desk with a mocha-moustache.

I knew the environment I would be in when I started working here. It's a naturopath clinic. I kept up appearances the first week by drinking green tea instead of bee-linining it to Starbucks, which is right across the street, and visible from my window. I had salad and soup for lunch. No meat, light on the carbs. I looked like a very good girl. But I cannot be expected to work or function at even a baseline level without caffeine and sugar.

I've been Elvis the last two years, for crying out loud. I've had to take sleeping pills to get to sleep, then in the morning, chug down a double espresso to clear away the diphenhydramine fog. The green tea bit wasn't going to last forever.

I started bringing back a grande mint mocha on my break, but now it's just a tall. Everyone at the clinic is pretty understanding. I'm not the only coffee drinker there. But I'm the only one who drinks coffee there-- in plain sight of patients who've been given dietary restrictions by their naturopaths. So I sip on the sly, hiding my cup under the counter.

Someone was talking about carbs the other day. I piped up and admitted that I loved doughnuts. Between the look she gave me and the metallic silence--you would have thought I had said, " I fucking love fucking goddamn motherfucking cuntalicious doughnuts. Fucking love them."

Doughnut is a bad word here among the wheatless-dairyless-sugarless monks. Now, I've been a vegatarian, and have abstained from sugar and dairy. But since I have no vices, I'm allowing my hedonistic affair with food. I will not deprive myself. Sometimes the only good thing about life on Earth is the food. The food is fantastic, and probably why we keep coming back. All the butter and sugar and salt and garlic and frosting and lemon-filled-this and chocolate-moussed that. I won't deny myself any of it.

So if anyone asks-- and it's likely to come up at work--why I poison my temple-of-a body with all that delicious toxic kaka, I'll just tell them that I'm trying to watch the number of life-giving-nutrients I put into my mouth. That I'm gradually cutting down on whole, vitamin-rich foods. Because--it's not a quick fix--but I think this approach will be the safest and surest way to trim all those excess years off my life.




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