Monday, March 15, 2010
I went to Trader Joe's today to buy more of the vanilla meringues that I am currently obsessed with, and they were giving away samples of something, as they do every day. Often they offer vile juices, like a watermelon/cucumber mix, or fair trade coffee, the smell of which peels the enamel off my teeth. Today they had "organic blueberry toaster pastries". And all the conscientious shoppers were crowded around the fool in the Hawaiian shirt, for a tiny square of unfrosted, fake Pop Tart, as if he were the Messiah himself. And I wanted to take those substandard rectangles of fake pastry bliss and throw them to the ground, like the tablets at Mt. Sinai, and castigate the legions for worshiping this golden calf. This golden calf of Trader Joe's,of Whole Foods, of doctor's orders to STOP DRINKING THE NECTAR OF THE GODS, Diet Coke. This golden calf of HEALTH. Damn all of you for buying into this concept of staying healthy, and dragging me in there with you. Because this is one of the things I resent most about getting older--I DON'T HAVE a twenty year buffer during which I can eat endless amounts of french fries and not worry about it. The worry is HERE. IT IS HERE. And I FUCKING HATE IT.
When I was in my twenties, not once did I think an errant pain or inexplicable infection meant I had cancer. I didn't wake up in the morning, groaning like my grandmother. I didn't even have a doctor! Who gave a shit? I lived on Diet Coke and chips and salsa, and was perfectly happy to not have to think about what corrosion was occurring inside my corporeal body. I didn't have gravity issues, gray hair, pterodactyl lines, chicken wings or even a size eight foot. I did not wake up in the morning and say a prayer of gratitude for the new day, drink green tea to detoxify, eat organic or worry about my weight in any other way but relative hotness. In short, I was young and blissfully stupid, and as I stood in smoke-filled clubs in Boston in the late 1980's, inhaling second hand smoke and losing my hearing, I was having the time of my life. I was an idiot in every way and I wouldn't change very much. If anything, I would have broken more hearts.
I have fallen into the trap of "well being", simply because it is now my reality. I have friends with cancer, friends with parents and even kids with cancer. People in their forties die, and while it is unusual, it isn't unheard of. Having children means planning ahead, so there is the clusterfuck of life insurance, wills and trusts. And, frankly, I don't want to die right now. Plain and simple. I have a lot to do, and dying would seriously interfere with getting my CD done and my dream of playing The Paradise. So, I gave up my Diet Coke, and it's been nearly four weeks. It is no easier, I feel no better, and I want to tackle every motherfucker who pops open a can in my presence.
But don't think I have lost my edge, people. On the contrary, this has forced me to get creative. If I am going to accept my fear of aging, my fear of death, I am going to fucking EMBRACE my fear of boredom and run with it. Late nights, playing music, stirring up trouble, moving way the hell out of my comfort zone...all on my new and improved To Do list. Because even with all the worry, i'd rather be where I am now. And no way am i going to look back and say that my twenties were the best years of my life. I really, really think those are now. I will make them that way. Just watch.
P.S. Trader Joe's organic toaster pastries do not make you healthy. They make you a Pop Tart Pussy. Either eat the real thing or stay home.