Today is the six month anniversary of my cancer diagnosis. It happens to be Christmas day, too.
That makes it a good day for a rant about food.
Food is a part of the Christmas theme. My relatives ask me about how it's going with my eating. My coworkers cannot stop offering it to me. My friends invite me out to eat.
Every day, I eat three meals, and each one is a kind of torture.
On good days, I just say, well, forget food! – it's a luxuriant distraction anyhow; I can find satisfaction in other things. "Gluttony is a sin," and all that.
But… food is so core to everyone's social world. It's what friends do together – they go out to eat. It's how relatives show love or concern. It's what coworkers do together. It's how the boss rewards us. It's how the parents of my students show gratitude. It's what strangers first offer….
So by having these "food issues" that I am having, I end up having social issues, too. As an introvert and someone with social issues already, it's the last thing I need or want. But I'm stuck with it.
In fact, sometimes I speculate that there is perhaps an aspect of karmic payback to this whole "food issue" that I'm suffering. To have this kind of problem, centered around food, is probably "just desserts" (haha get it?) for a man who has struggled with both anorexia and obesity in his life, at different times.
On bad days, I feel like my "deal with the devil" to stay alive and survive this cancer wasn't even worth it. Will people just leave me alone about food? Please? I'm sick of it. Sick to death of it.
I can't eat comfortably, but I can eat to stay alive. I prefer to eat alone, because the joy I take from eating, these days, is similar on the pleasure scale to the joy I take from vomiting – as such, it's not something I want people to watch me experiencing.
I'm tired of being invited and pitied and queried and being-concerned-about. Food sucks. It may never be a fun thing for me, again. So that's life. But frankly, I'm going to go live on a mountaintop alone, and eat my soft noodles in quiet-suffering-solitude, if all you people don't stop bothering me about food.
No, I don't want to go out to eat with you. No, it is not fun for me to sit and watch you enjoy your food. No, not just a bite of that cookie or cake because surely it's not so bad as I say, thank you. No, I don't know when it will get better. No, I don't want your advice anymore about how to make things more palatable.
OK. That's the last I'm going to post anything negative about food. When people ask me about it, I'll point them to this post. If I have good news, I'll share it.
Enjoy your Christmas. Be thankful for small things, like good friends and good food and… ah. Whatever.
What I'm listening to right now.
Santa Hates You, "Raise the Devil." This is not an anti-Christmas joke. Santa Hates You is one of those German gothic-industrial groups I sometimes listen to, in my darker moods. They have a somewhat intellectual posture, within the genre.