Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Path I Must Take

The option has been staring me in the face each time I visited the grocery store. I have fought the urge, knowing that once I went down that path, that I could never return...that I would never be the same. Though my mouth being wired has taken much from me, my pride had remained in tact. But I could not withstand any longer...I am too weak.

Two weeks into my life eating liquid foods, my body has become weak, I have not eaten anything resembling real food since June and I needed to make a choice. And my choice was to go down the baby food aisle.

Yes, the J-Man has crumbled. Ensure is great. Chicken broth and Cream of Potato soup are palletable. And milkshakes made with canned fruit are a pleasant treat. But nothing can compare with something that claims to be Turkey and Rice.

So there I stood, at 12:00 PM today, shaking from hunger and the added strain of 100 degree heat, pushing a cart through Shoppers Food Warehouse. I knew I was out of soup, so I had filled my cart with Chicken Broth, Cream of Potato, and a new Italian Tomato soup I had just seen, as I made my way to the Ensure stand. Positioned by the Pharmacy, my eyes were drawn to the right, adjacent to the medical needs. There it stood...the baby foods. I grabbed three containers of Ensure and gently strolled over to the tiny little jars.

I'll just see what this is all about. Maybe I'll give one a try, just to see. I mean, I went to Wendy's yesterday and ground up a cup of their Chili...how much lower can I go. And then, like a 7-year old on Christmas, I could not hold back the glee as I saw some of the names on the bottles: Chicken Noodle Dinner; Ham and Gravy; Turkey and Apples. With each label I read, I found myself saying, that sounds good, and plopping the petitte container into my cart.

Gerber Original...sounds good. Oooo, Gerber Tender Harvest...how high brow. Ooohhh, Beech Nut Naturals...now we're talking.

Before I knew it, I had grabbed almost 12 jars and began to gaze around like a timid thief, wondering if people were around, wondering why this unshaven, (hey, I said I could shave, I didn't say I would) skinny man was piling up on the baby stuffs. I reclaimed my body control, re-read one of the labels, and realized I was not yet at the third stage of baby food (Stage 3 has small bits of food to aid in learning to chew...I'm not at that stage yet). I returned a couple of bottles to their place and made the shameful walk to the cash register.

Yes, I am buying baby food with the intent to eat it myself. No, I see nothing wrong with that. It's not like I'm eating dog food or something. I mean babies are just small people...and they like sucking on titties. Now we will simply have TWO things in common. Well, three if we include shitting your pants, but you try and tell me you could stop that when all you eat is liquids and you feel the urge to rip one. Errrrr.

So, I'm back at home, unloading my groceries. I am now truly shaking with hunger as I reach into the bag and pull out the Gerber Chicken Noodle Dinner. I read it could be heated, so I spoon the paste out of the jar and into a bowl. Unfortunately, it is still a bit too thick for me to easily suck it through the gaps in my teeth (damned babies!) so I am forced to add some water to thin it out a bit. After 30 seconds in the microwave, I begin my feast. It is a bit bland, perhaps for the sake of the babies and perhaps because I diluted it with water, so I grab some salt, pepper and garlic powder (they...and soy sauce...fix anything) and the taste of real chicken hits my tongue again.

If you've seen a baby, you'll realize that despite my loss of weight (down to 170 lbs. now) they are considerably smaller than me. So I grab for the Tender Harvest Chicken & Wild Rice and throw that one back as well, along with a cold Strawberry Shake Ensure.

I have walked the path I once walked. I have returned to my humble beginnings. At 28 years of age, I will soon be routinely eating Gerber's finest again.

Don't care what people say.
Just follow your own way.
Don't give up and use the chance.
To return to innocence.
That's not the beginning of the end.
That's the return to yourself.
The return to innocence.

Ooooyy, iiiii, hiiii, ooo, iiii, eee, iii, ooo...


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