The year is twenty and seventeen. The month is November. A chill wind blows through the town tonight. It has been 23 days since I committed myself to the Whole30 diet.
I am finding it hard to leave grocery stores now. I wander through the aisles for minutes at a time. Hours? Days? I know not what it is that I think I am seeking during these departures from the realm of the lucid.
The Whole Foods in Waverly does not have a dedicated fish section. In the absence of salmon, I was forced to buy frozen tuna steaks. I do not know how to cook tuna. On Friday, dear reader, I am not proud to admit this, I was the one that reheated fish in the office microwave. I stopped the process halfway through at the first whiff that something was wrong, and ate my lunch tepid, asphyxiating the flavor with yellow mustard. Nevertheless, despite my every effort, I cannot say if I will ever be able to look Christopher from the sixth floor in the eye again.
David invited me to celebrate the success of a project at the Faithful Burger. Lo, though the Faithful Burger’s melted cheddar on all beef patties do haunt my dreams, I cannot partake. I will once again do as I did at the wedding. I shall eat chicken and nuts in sepulchral solitude, and emerge for Faithful Burgers as an ascetic. For me, the physical act of eating will be little more than idle speculation.
I would love to tell you, dear readers, that merely nine days from now I shall achieve the righteous reward due to me for my suffering, but this is merely the beginning. After the first 30 days begins the experimental phase.
In the experimental phase, I add a forbidden food, such as a peanut or a piece of cheese to my diet for one day, and witness the havoc it wreaks on my body. Should I be spared havoc, the food item may be returned to my regular routine.
There is no phase three. The gift I shall receive at the journey’s end is knowledge. I shall know what effects common foods have on me, and I shall know about ways that I can feed myself without them.
If indeed there are merciful gods, I shall once again be able to have soymilk and peanuts as a regular snack.