Tomnivore’s Dilemmia (Sorry for these lame puns, they’re just too easy)

As the day of my departure draws near, I took some time to plan out the foodstuffs I’ll be carrying with me. Riding out here I basically lived off of McDonald’s, pop-tarts, reduced grocery store bakery items, and wine; you know, the same stuff I’ve been eating since my parents/girlfriend stopped feeding me. My diet out here has been less than stellar. One night I blacked out from eating 16 doughnuts, or more commonly referred to by me as a ‘Tom’s Dozen’. When I came to, I assessed the situation. So much dough. So much regret.  I polished off the remaining sprinkles clinging to my face blanket and decided the next logical course of action was to walk down the street to Little Cesar’s and put the second half of my self-worth through a metaphoric paper shredder. For a few moments I shared the same emotions as a pregnant woman, because I’m certain this mass of fat and sugar in my stomach had a pulse. Hypothetically, if I did in fact give birth to this shame baby, its name would be Caleb and it would work at Denny’s until an even larger walking dough corpse engulfs it, effectively perpetuating the indignity cycle. Anyway, I make my way to Lil’ C and grunt my order to Becky behind the counter. She and I know each other on a first name basis at this point. There’s something unsettling about the swiftness in which I receive my pie, but honestly, has anyone in the history of mankind ever complained about getting pizza too fast? I’m certainly not going to be the first one to step out of line and protest. Alternatively, I snatch the box like Gollum to the ring and warn Becky to avert her eyes from the inbound carnage. I stand there and consume the entire pie in less than five minutes. You read that correctly. I wish it wasn’t true as much as you. Trust me this is not a point of pride, it’s my every morning ritual. I conclude the humiliation coaster by handing the empty box back to Becky. Her disbelief is my reality.

Upon exiting the store I surmise that if I don’t alter my caloric intake, I’m going to develop my own strand of hyper-diabetes. But this isn’t something I don’t already know. My tears have tasted like maple syrup for weeks. I manage to stagger home and compile a list of all the foods I’ve eaten in the last month. I highly recommend not performing this chore, unless you want to be reminded of how miserable your existence is. Well, except if you live a healthy lifestyle and maintain a strict regimen of fruits and vegetables. In that case, fuck you. I stare at the list and taste the Aunt Jemima running down my cheeks. There’s nothing to be pleased with here.  For two days I sustained myself on Cheez-Its and chocolate covered cherries (I didn’t make contact with sunlight that weekend). It’s no surprise that Top Ramen, Bourbon, and generic brand sugar cookies win, place, and show on the list. But I was astonished to see that there were absolutely no animal-based foods written down. Had I become a vegetarian? I stop eating meat and my diet becomes shoddier than ever. How does this make any sense?

Maybe all the sensual passes I received from the fields of soybeans or late afternoon discussions of Kafka with pastures of cattle had finally penetrated my subconscious. Was I somehow feeling remorse for the years of tearing into animal flesh with my incisors? Not really. I don’t really know. So the default to confusion and general indifference towards pigs is vegetarianism?  Am I technically even a vegetarian if I don’t eat any vegetables? Spoonfuls of high fructose corn syrup do not count as a serving of corn. And I’m certainly not getting my share of carrots from a slice of 3-day old, gas station carrot cake. But I’m a good person for not eating mechanically separated chicken parts, right? But I would probably eat some bacon wrapped hot dogs if they were right in front of me.

I don’t know you guys. I don’t think meat is the problem here. Gluttony doesn’t have a V.I.P. lounge for pork chops and beef jerky. There’s no way you can eat like shit and not expect to feel like shit no matter what you eat. I guess I should probably stop scoffing at serving suggestions. Perchance I’ll create scenarios that don’t end with me surrounded by a sea of empty Doritos bags. Maybe discontinue neglecting the middle of the food pyramid. Or even start drinking water instead of liquefied cake icing. Meh. All that stuff takes too much work. I’ll just swallow buckets of fish oil and expired multivitamins an elderly couple gave me in Grand Junction, Colorado. That should even me out.

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