Tuesday was a marginal evening: if I’d felt any worse, I would not have gone to jiu-jitsu. As it is, I still ended up taking an open-handed biff to the head and a shot to the gut in the course of scrapping that evening. Not to mention the eight to ten chokes that were demonstrated on me in various positions, plus one cross-collar strangle that I had to take an aspirin for the next morning. But the beauty of our school is that when you take a slap to the head, the attacker immediately asks, You all right? And I was, and I said so. My own fault anyway, not putting up a block. Plus – I learned some key stuff that I needed for defending against multiple attackers. So the class was definitely worth it, as they usually are.
Anyhow, forty minutes earlier: I’m in my apartment, munching some snacks to boost my energy and staring into the open cabinet I’ve just taken them out of. I’m reading the ingredients on the loaf of Multigrain 100% Whole Wheat Bread that I’d bought at the Shaw’s five days earlier, because I have a busy mind and my eyes needed something to occupy them. Whole wheat bread, the kind I use four slices of to make sandwiches for lunch every day. Multigrain; more than one grain; grains being Good For You, as every American student of the food pyramid could tell you. Probably the best cheap bread I could buy in a chain supermarket.
Shaw’s Multigrain 100% Whole Wheat bread has 100mg of sodium per slice and contains high fructose corn syrup. God damn it. So with four slices in two sandwiches, not counting what goes between them, that’s already 400mg. And high fructose corn syrup. Damn it all. I don’t eat greasy corn chips, I have maybe one soda a week, I drink water or milk with most meals and I still can’t get away from high fructose corn syrup. It’s not the health implications that bother me – I’ve been ingesting it for years and I’m fine – so much as the feeling of being stalked. I don’t feel that I need to cut HFCS out of my diet. But I’d like to know that I could. I’d like to know that the greasy fingers of Archer Daniels Midland aren’t stroking my hair as I wander the aisle of my favorite chain supermarket, steering my head towards its preferred breads, baked goods and gelatins. I’d like to know that, if the doctor told me tomorrow to expel HFCS from my life, I wouldn’t be limited to an index card worth of food. I fear an unlikely future of asparagus, rice cakes and apple sauce with a farmer and a sunrise and some synonym for Promise on the can. I’m all lost in the supermarket; I can no longer shop happily.