Forecast for the Future

"Every individual without exception bears a potential writer within himself. The reason is that everyone has trouble accepting the fact that he will disappear unheard of and unnoticed in an indifferent universe, and everyone wants to make himself into a universe of words before it's too late. 

Once the writer in every individual comes to life (and that time is not that far off), we are in for an age of universal deafness and lack of understanding."

- Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Week 14 NoDrugs: "Healthy Living" concluded

So last night I concluded a week legitimately free of all non-doctor prescribed drugs. Minus one single half-gulp of Pepsi on Wednesday night, I went the entire week without imbibing in caffeine, nicotine, or alcohol (or anything else). Making this week, in a weird way, one of the most successful weeks of Hyperliving I've had so far; and I like the fact that the premise was so simple.

Surprisingly (or maybe not), holding off on cigarettes was by far the easiest thing of all. Despite smoking for many years, I think I've managed to maintain a decent relationship with cigarettes by only smoking them when it's actually fun to do so. Never in a perfunctory fashion, never in the morning, and rarely even with habit or ritual except in the most general sense (summer night outside on a porch or in a backyard, during a set break at a concert, after a gigantic meal at a restaurant), and almost always (terrible periods of "life breakdown" excepted) in moderation. Maybe i'm "addicted" (I put that in quotes to annoy friends/family members/non-smokers) but it feels like I still have that one under control. There were a number of times this week where I felt like I wanted or "would enjoy" a cigarette, but often I think this was due to the fact that I would be in an environment/situation where I'd also want caffeine and/or alcohol, and so my desire for cigarettes was more of a flailing out for stimulants than any specific cigarette-related need; either way, it wasn't particularly difficult to hold off.

Sunday morning near-return to "normal living" (minus Vegan-week required replacement of milk with Soymilk)

Abstaining from caffeine, on the hand, was a bitch. As a man who, as I've repeatedly explained and documented, hardly sleeps at all, I rely on caffeine to keep me going throughout the day. And this week I learned that I rely on it a lot more than I've realized. Basically everyday this week except last Sunday, I had a splitting splitting hammer-on-forehead headache take over my life sometime between the hours of noon and 3pm. This was almost shocking because I basically never get headaches for any reason, and I imagined that caffeine-migraines were more the domain of eight cups-a-day HyperCoffeeDrinking Queens like the Sweeetheart and E-bad. Well, unless it had something to do with the additional lack of nicotine in my body, I was pretty wrong, either about who gets headaches or how much caffeine I really intake on a daily basis.

Alcohol is kind of an "eh". During most of my week I don't even really think about alcohol, but I definitely got a reminder this week about the degree to which alcohol is inscribed into the regular socialization behaviors of urban twentysomethings. I wasn't in many situations during the work week where I thought too much about alcohol either way, but Friday and Saturday evening were pretty much in-your-face confrontations. Friday I went to a 'Burg bar with friends specializing in fancy, tasteful international beer and then went a four-band show in a Bushwick loft that run until 3:30 am. Saturday I climaxed the week amusingly by attending a party with over fifteen kinds of beverages, literally every one besides water containing alcohol or caffeine. Obviously it really doesn't matter, and I spent most of the each night taking photos (and getting lessons from Ben D Saturday on how to improve my indoor phototaking), but it was definitely interesting to note how firmly rooted our behaviors are that many of us reflexively grab drinks when the sun goes down on weekend nights. It was nice though to open my wallet this morning and see that it still contained almost as many dollars as it had in it on Friday afternoon.

It was an interesting week. I still haven't had a cigarette yet, though I'm sure that will change before I go to sleep tonight. I have had already four cups of coffee. I am curious whether the insights gathered this week will disappear immediately, or if I'll hold onto anything. Probably not disappear, but sit in the back of my non-implementing mind memory.


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