Wednesday, February 17, 2010

When You Say ‘G.I.,' You Don’t Mean ‘Joe’


This Celiac Disease/no gluten breaks what’s left of your spirit. There are entire isles at Ralph’s stocked full of food you should never eat again: Triscuits, Wheat Thins, Rye Crisps, Saltines, Brownberry Ovens Natural Wheat Bread. And what about Pepperidge Farm Cookies? And what about life with no Five Dollar Footlongs from Subway? These days, you burst into tears when you hear the “Five Dollar Footlong” song. Maybe this means you won’t make it. Maybe you’ll end up accepting the fact that your favorite foods turn your G.I. system into theatrical recreation of the Bataan Death March. You’ll say, “I'm tough. I can take the pain.” You’ll eat what you want for the rest of your life. Your shit will be totally fucked up, but then again, whose isn’t?

The plus side of Celiac: Thousands of blogs exist on Celiac. And there are associations you can join. Cookbooks you can buy. Recipes you can obtain for free. You can have your picture taken next to a huge sign that says GAS or BLOATING or DIAHREEA. And you can share this picture with your friends. You can make cookies that probably taste like the bad shit you’re trying not to take, and you can tell people they were excellent.

You can say to all the people who over the years have called you a pussy because you’ve got a sensitive gastric system, “Hey, fuckers. I was born with this shit problem. You want me to stop talking about it?” And you can rail on them for their complete lack of human understanding. You can improve your mood this way. You can feel as if you’re exacting revenge on the brutal world that has consigned you to a lifetime of bloated, flatulent misery.

And you can stay home and drink your goddam gluten-free lunch out of a cup. You can consequently take the best shits of your life and feel a great calm spreading across the wastelands of your undersides. You can become the Bodhidharma of the bathroom if you want. But will this make you happy? Will you find peace in this?

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