Monday, January 05, 2009

The Fast Unbroken

Tomorrow I observe my annual ritual...the colonoscopy. I have discussed this before, I think, that the procedure--which involves little pain and fun drugs, tends to be less offensive than the prep--liter's of foul tasting saline that "clean you out."

The prep begins tonight, but first, the pre-prep--in the form of a fast of sorts. I can drink only clear liquids with little or no color. This apparently includes such things as strained chicken broth, or non-colored jello, but I am far to lazy (oh...I mean "busy") to procure such things in advance, so I tend to just drink water for the day. I don't really mind the fast once it gets started. You can turn your mind to other things, and there is part of me that finds it a burden, constantly having to find things to put in my body. Some advocate a monthly fast, and I think I would not mind that too much, physically. It is the organizational and social inconvenience of not eating. Even tonight, Matt and Lotte are coming for a final night and a final meal...without medical imperative, I would never turn this down.

Though I don't mind a fast, I will say, as a person who loves breakfast, it is strangely disheartening to wake with no breakfast to look forward to. What impetus is there to get up and face the cold house if not to prepare my cereal with blueberries and almond milk--and just a spoonful of yogurt?

Instead I lie in bed and read. Reading is kind of a luxury, so it is like giving myself something to substitute for the food. I've just begun the letters of Simone De Beauvoir to Nelson Algren. They aren't at all what I expected...not that I should have expected anything because I know very little about her. But I'd heard she was feminist, a philosopher, that she'd had an unconventional lifelong relationship with Sartre, and that they both took lots of lovers and then sat about in cafes discussing their conquests--and of course she was French...and I feared she would be over intellectual and pretentious sounding.

So far, not true. She writes in a flawed English that is endearing, and seems so emotionally honest and direct, and there is a kind of buoyancy about her--at least in her writing. She seems so interested and engaged with the world, and open to her own experiences. Of course it's only been 22 pages and there are some 500 more.

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