It has been now seven days since I started my new diet. I haven’t lost an ounce. But I’m not really trying to lose weight. I’m performing an experiment. What will happen if I stop eating meat, chicken, and pork, and all fowl, and all other animals except for fish, and only wild-caught fish, and if I also radically cut back on my dairy intake, and eliminate all processed sugars from my diet, including wine? Will my body change? Will I have more energy? Will I feel better?
Yesterday I felt very strong in yoga, but today I was tired. It probably had nothing to do with my diet. Might have. Hard to say.
Last night and tonight I have hung out with people I like a lot, and with whom I almost always drink alcohol. But since I’m on this diet, I’m drinking water while they’re having wine. Ever notice how it makes people uncomfortable if you’re the only one not drinking among them? You have to reassure them that you’re having a good time. I was!
I love my girlfriends. They make me laugh, and I can say anything with them. I had a blast. And it was easy to drink water with them. No one pressured me to imbibe, although there was some disappointment when I said I wasn’t going to eat the chili. I was calm.
But I was more thoughtful, too. What hit me on the way home was not–“isn’t it great that I’m completely sober while I’m driving home just after the Steelers lost the Superbowl?”
No. I mean, yes, that. Of course.
But what was better than that, way better, was just being there, being conscious, being with myself and liking myself.The alternative radio show Echoes was on DUQ as I drove. And it was perfect: I was in my little silver Miata. I was wearing jeans rolled-up to show my witches/Steelers’ socks, a black turtleneck, and my Mom’s fabulous swing leopard-print wool coat. I love those clothes
I also love to drive. I love to be alone on the road listening to good music. Tonight I wanted to drive all night–preferably up the coast from LA to Santa Barbara at night under a full moon. But a mountain road would have sufficed. Trouble was, there were a lot of drunk drivers on the road. So I took myself home.
Now I’m listening to an album that John Diliberto sampled–the Icelandic group, Skuli Sverrison, Sería. Awesome. Haunting, soothing, passionate, resonant. I don’t like the vocal tracks as much as the instrumentals, but there’s something piercingly sweet and mysterious about the woman’s voice. Not sure I’d listen to this album over and over again as I do Philip Glass, who does something somewhat comparable with more traditional western instruments. But I have a strong feeling I’m going to be playing it a lot in the near future. I like the rhythm, the fluidity of the chord progressions, the strumming. Acoustic guitar expertly played.
It seems that I hear my friends better when I’m not drinking. And also that I hear myself better.
What could be more depressing than to watch the Superbowl, though, and to be so acute to the sexism of 99 per cent of the ads!!!!!
Not that we’re surprised. Or, some of us aren’t. The ones among us who are thinking are not surprised. Some of my girlfriends are thinking. Some of them laugh and snarl with me when I snarl that the Superbowl trophy is penis-shaped and that it’s a sacred object that each player on the winning team wants to touch, as though it had magic power not only to confirm but also to magnify his masculinity.
And then the semi-important bald guys–the one who got to carry the shiny, silver penis to the podium, and hand it to the guy at the podium, who got to hand it to the team coaches and also to the Money. Notice how both of those guys tried to hold onto it for a long time? While the many words they spoke puffed their chests up and out? The coaches looked decent enough. That one guy looked Norwegian. How many times to the Norwegians win the Superbowl? Kinda cool. And they didn’t have shiny penis heads, either. Doesn’t mean they’re not assholes.
While watching the game I talked to at least two women who were extremely distressed because they have been beaten up by men, men they loved, and neither of them has yet found a perfectly safe situation yet. We couldn’t talk about it there, for obvious reasons, but I heard them and need to call them tomorrow.
Life is Patriarchal men are hard on women. One in four women. Let’s not talk about the victims.
Let’s talk about the abusers. Let’s talk about the monsters who call themselves men who think its okay to demean women, to slur them, to insult them, to bully them, to beat them, to slap them, to rape them to “keep ‘em in line.” Men who have so little respect for themselves and who are so cowardly and vile that the only way they can begin to feel that they are “manly” is by pushing a woman around.
Men who are beating up their girlfriends or their wives or their kids in this city, or your city, in every city in the country, probably, on the continent, in the world, right now, as you are reading this.
Plenty of men out there. But not many of them showed up on the screen, on the field or in the commercials during the GAME. It’s possible to be a gentle, caring, compassionate, courageous, decent, kind, peaceful, egalitarian man. I know some of them. Patriarchal culture pressures men to live in fear, however, fear of losing their manliness, which the frightened ones must continuously demonstrate to one another.
If you’ve been reading my column, you know that I am a big fan of William Gay, #22. Now there’s a real man:
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