The Line of Crazy
The Line of Crazy
I was walking around last night in Lincoln Square around 9:00 p.m. Beautiful night. Big, bright moon with wispy clouds across its face. Couldn't be a nicer evening for a stroll. What was going on in my head? "Boy I'd like a cigarette!" All things considered, I quit smoking pretty easily despite having a pretty robust habit that meant hitting up the Marlboro Man for between 2/3 - 1 pack of smokes each day. For the most part my cravings weren't bad and I've adhered unflinchingly to my personal rule that I can only smoke on foreign soil* - a "when in Rome" ethos of emphysema risk. So, I was jonesing.
It's strictly associative. Warm nights, especially when combined with porch access, remind me of college and recklessness and the freedom to generally be a retard. Part and parcel of this catastrophic retardation was smoking. Hence the cravings. So I'm wanting to fire up when I get to the northeast corner of Lawrence and Western preparing to cross Lawrence into the Square proper. Waiting for the light this grizzled, though surely not as old as he looked, man pleads to me for a cigarette.
"Man, you got a cigarette?"
Somewhat perplexed since he wasn't dressed for soothsaying or mind-reading, "Huh?"
"Got a smoke."
He turns for a moment and grunts inaudible at a nearby light pole, "Man, I need a cigarette."
"Sorry, I quit. I've been there."
"Urrrrr. I might just have to beat someone for a smoke, man."
"Not you man. But you won't tell anyone will ya? I might just have to."
"Hey, good luck."
I took meeting this scrappy aspiring assault-and-batterer as a sign. A strung-out angel who came to earth to dissuade would-be smokers and beat the tar out of current smokers. Heart warming.
But this is all just a segue into what amounts to a half-health beat/half love advice column. Quite frankly I feel like shit. I lack energy. I eat like every other American who has a date with an obese, diabetic destiny. Another words, like the guy who takes his pink slip and last paycheck down to the riverboat casino, I am vulnerable for a quick fix. Mr. S., a friend of mine, has come through.
I'm a fan of Mr. S. He's exceedingly bright, but with an intelligence that is rather accessible, and he gets infectiously excited about his activities and interests. He explained to me this weekend that he recently went on an 11-day detoxification diet. Not one that is particularly filled with bizarre powders and mixes and roots (though the phrases "psyllium husk" and "ox bile extract" are mentioned). Essentially it is a regimen designed to get all the crap out of your system and to minimize sugars and fats (that means no sugar, caffeine, alcohol, breads, pasta, etc.).
Normally I would never go in for something like this, but Mr. S sold it so well. How great he felt. How he slept better and woke up rested. All these sound like things I should look into. But again, me on a diet? Doesn't sound like me. Might have something to do with the fact that I possess minimal willpower when it comes to food and I dream of finding a brunch buffet that offers cold Chinese food on the menu. Then when considering how crappy I felt, I found yet another strung out angel, or rather I read the nutritional facts on the muffin I usually pick up for breakfast every morning. Here's an excerpt:
- Calories: 240
- Fat Calories: 100, Total Fat 11g (18% DV)
- Cholesterol: 35 mg (12% DV)
- Sugar: 13g
Seems simple. There's a hitch. I am making a concerted effort to date. As Chris Rock said of dating, "When you meet someone for the first time, you're not meeting them. You're meeting their representative." Hardly an unfair assessment. Now, who the hell wants to meet a representative in the throes of a detox.
"You know, I've had a great time. You have the most beautiful brown eyes. And your hair, it's...it's like psyllium husk. [take her hand in mine and intently gaze into her eyes] Before we go any further...I think we should both take out ox bile extract....just in case."
Yeah, that'll be awesome. Still, I think I'm going to be starting the program tomorrow. So if you have any suggestions as to what I say when a girl asks, "Um, this is such a great restaurant you picked. Why are you only eating carrots, chard, and flaxseeds?" please chime in.
*I have yet to decide whether or not this means that I am permitted to scale the walls of a foreign embassy, smoke a butt, and then climb back over without being in violations of the terms set forth.