This post is late, for a couple reasons. Most crucial, is that it’s something I started writing some time ago, having thought about it for many years. Secondly, I have been reluctant to share something this deep and honest about myself. And thirdly, I tripped over a dog, sprained my wrist, lost a beloved instrument, and bid farewell to a very important part of my life. So I’ve been pretty depressed, can’t type so well, but I’ve at least seen how I’m dealing with all these calamities in a slightly better way than I would have in the past. As an article on a so-called baby leaf food-esque blog, the only relevance to food here is in the sense of not eating it. I’ll try not to whine too much, but I’m mostly sharing this because if I didn’t, then it wouldn’t do a damn bit of good (or bad) just sitting in my mind. So there’s my disclaimer.
There’s an empty pot on the stove. Next to an empty fridge. Next to a garbage can full of empty beer cans, butts and coffee cups. And a late walking pre-dawn man circles the block trying hard to find the reverse energy needed to sleep. Overtired and hungry he was, but there was a balloon of anxiety in his chest, something like the coffee jitters, helium, and a knot of anticipation; of what exactly was to come, not so silently praying that is was not what his gut had already told him, would.
Food…I can go days without the stuff. It’s crazy I know. But I’ve been aware, become tired of it, and then grew committed to not further punishing whatever guts are in there any further. I don’t know when it began exactly. The sad not eating thing. But I’m guessing it was in high school after my first major breakup. I was 18 and living alone, and I could whine and piss and moan any damn way of my choosing. Maybe I just postponed walking the two blocks to the supermarket. Who knows exactly. But when it came to my own version of expressing my depression, not eating has always been my way of doing it.
Maybe I thought I was starving my pain. That like some horrible worm, I’d cut it off of all it fed upon. It would wither and die and I could rise to a new morning, without the cloud. Could be I even thought that a spiritual cleansing or purging had to start with a fast. Like there was a root to get to before all the other stuff could come up to the surface. Probably would’ve been better to just take a handful of mushrooms, a couple granola bars and spend some time in the hills. Most likely, I was just punishing myself. Feeling like I wasn’t good enough. Insecurity. Blame. Shame. Lame Game.
Well I guess I’m tired of it. And finding it hard at this second to relish back on all the funny times Kinger could drink a thousand beers and not eat a bite of food. Worst and weirdest foodie on earth, maybe. I kind of laugh at that part. Because it certainly takes some kind of strange magic to still be alive and be basically okay, doing what I’ve done. But it’s been nothing less than super stupid for all the additional work it’s forced me to do, in the processing of hard low down times. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised that had I at least eaten food in my past heartbreaks, the memories wouldn’t have come out so severe and poignant in the wash, in retrospect.
But still, being sad is a fucker. Time slows in this physics-y way, showing all its relativity with its bare balls and ass. There are no straight lines, nothing linear. A moment of heartache is like a year. And a week of bliss passes as a second borrowed. So conversely, it’s easy to want to numb and speed that shit up. It’s a tough go. Not consuming food rules out a lot of things that actually make you feel better in hard times. Take exercise; the release of endorphins alone has been proven to improve even the darkest of head spaces. But you gotta eat to have the energy to do that. Or sleeping. Sleeping hungry is not rest. Your body and heart quakes in a weak and erratic tremor, the reserve tank has been long burned up, and your body just keeps saying, what the fuck…
We all have our own ways of going through crappy times in life. And what that’s like, or what we are used to, depends on all sorts of things. Environment. Learned behavior, and habit. I know people who hit the pool hard when they’re down, bringing the body straight into focus. Like a fucking doctor. Time for the business of making diminishing strength stronger than ever. Batten down the hatches and fuck this shit. I admire and shake my head with love and the wish I could have been influenced by them earlier on.
But I’ve always been the opposite kind on this. I’m strongest and most inspired when I’m happy. And a lot of the time that has seemed to come from an external source. Be it a love or a steady job or some good luck, I’ve kind of danced in this stupid and unsustainable neon light of an 80s movie scene, where everyone’s happy and it’s the time of times. That’s never done me good; the muse of inspiration can not only be an external force or experience. Sad as life can be, it’s the repetition of good routines that bring on the most lasting kinds of inspiration. Because things get improved upon. There will always be sudden flashes of passion that collide into our orbits and bring forth new realms of expression. But we gotta keep er steady all along. Keep er steady. That boat’s the only thing we got to sense and experience and share our own gifts with the rest of the boats out there.
I’m getting to getting it. And if there’s anyone out there who goes through a similar thing, a little yogurt and nuts and berries, or cereal, help a lot. A cold smoothie goes down with little effort at all, and it takes very little work to make. A piece of toast and honey can do the same. Hell, I could even give Subway an award for getting me through some of my worst moments. They’re easy to get down. Small bites. Energy gets created. Fuel for bigger fires that can forge all kinds of even bigger and greater things. It only takes a couple bites, anyway. It’s amazing what you learn about the power of even the smallest bit of nutrition when your body has been deprived of it. Just…learn it once, and do the rest differently…and better.