My blog is called Pancakes and Prose and the last few weeks or so I’ve been faced with an interesting question – can we separate the Pancakes from the Prose?
A few months ago I was feeling sick and after I’d written off the seasonal melancholy and wasn’t feeling any better, I went to the doctor (damn vampire) and he came to a conclusion – Celiac’s disease. On one hand – great news: it’s treatable, its reversible, and it’s managed by diet. Other hand held a bit bleaker picture – no more cookies, cake, or the yummiest of carbohydrates. I can’t eat gluten and gluten, well gluten’s wheat, gluten’s pretty much in everything I want to eat.
It probably seems preposterous to even question whether my writing will be affected by my wheat boycott. Words and foods don’t really mix. But its bigger than that. Pancakes and my Saturday morning wrote my last book, the best one yet I think. It gave me a sense of schedule and purpose. Just the thought of pancakes made me feel creative. Now, thanks to Celiacs, all they make me feel is forlorn.
Today I’m having a bad day and all I want is a cookie. Two days ago I was feeling sick and all I wanted was a cracker. Tomorrow we always go out to lunch at the pizza buffet. None of these simple things I can partake in anymore. (Even the thought of eating out has me scared because who knows what they’re doing back there in that kitchen and all the places where my meal can meet with cross-contamination doom and silently poison me.)
I want to feel better, so very VERY badly, but the world doesn’t seem to understand that this change is bigger than going on a perpetual Atkins Diet. I’m making a major life change; one I can’t cheat on, one I can’t be lax about in a few months after I’ve gotten into the swing of things, one I can’t give up if its usefulness has left me. I will never taste sourdough bread again. Fondue is out as one of my favorite things. My mother’s famous Surprise Hamburgers, a thing of the past. The joy of eating cookie dough and watching Goonies on rainy days, gone. The convenience of not cooking and grabbing what’s easy, kaput. This is not a diet – this is my life.
And yes, if done right it will make me svelte. It’ll also make me broke (who cares about the stock market, get me in bed with the makers on Xantham Gum, stat), make me neurotic (now waitress, are you SURE they didn’t flip this burger with the same spatula they flipped the toasted buns? And was the grill cleaned after cooking that quesadilla I saw you bring to that other table?), make me sad (but I don’t want to eat another salad without dressing. Why can’t people just get with the program and have one thing without breading on it?). And now I’m worried about it making me mundane too.
It’s been barely 100 hours of gluten-free living and all I want to do is stop. The thought of doing this for decades upon decades more is depressing. I don’t want to be responsible and read labels – I want to be five and it’s summer and I’m taking a nap and having nothing to worry about.
Licorice, Beer, and Soy Sauce – three things I don’t even like but the fact that I can’t have them kind of haunts me. And the idea that NaNoWriMo starts in 10 days and I don’t know if I’m up for it hanuts me more. What if wheat was where all the words came from?