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Monday, August 13, 2001

I'm not hallucinating. Not yet, anyway. But I found out I don't like to be hungry. A one-day fast isn't quite Outward Bound, but I almost feel as if I'm struggling to survive some great hardship that will make me a better person. (Okay, maybe I am hallucinating.)

Popsicles turned out to be not such a great idea. No sustenance there, and they're too cold to chew, so you don't even get the illusion of eating. I'm better off just to keep drinking. Water, mostly. Nothing else is any more satisfying, and water will do the job best anyway. I should be squeaky clean on the inside by the time I hit the doctor's door tomorrow morning.

They called me today. The doctor's office. They wanted to be sure I'd show up, I guess. They told me to be there at 8:15, which is fifteen minutes earlier than it says on the little card they gave me. So now I'm looking at getting up at 5:45. That's to leave time for one enema two hours before I go in, and another one hour before. To tell the truth, that's the part I dread the most.

The doctor's instructions said to take an ounce of milk of magnesia the day before. That would be today. But how much is an ounce, when the measuring cup is marked off in tablespoons? I honestly didn't know, and the almanac was no help. Neither was the cookbook, where I thought I'd surely find an equivalency table. The next smaller unit than an ounce is something called a "gill." I've never seen a measuring cup marked off in gills.

Eventually I decided that two tablespoons make about an ounce. I made this brilliant deduction after taking a measuring spoon and pouring four tablespoons of water into a measuring cup (a real one, that is, not the dinky little one that comes with the milk of magnesia). Four was how many tablespoons it took to get to the two-ounce level, which was the lowest mark on the cup.

The instructions on the bottle say you can take two to four tablespoons of milk of magnesia, if you're using it as a laxative. I probably should have taken four, just for that extra bit of insurance. Besides, that was the only thing I drank all day that you couldn't see through.

So I stuck to water, after my Diet Mountain Dew to wake me up first thing this morning. And a 7-Up when the water started tasting tainted. That's how it seems when I drink six or eight glasses in a row. It's me, I know, not the water, because I buy the clearest bottled water available. Had a five-gallon bottle brought to my door just this morning, in fact.

Am I rambling? I got so little work done today that I'd fire myself if I hadn't worked half a day yesterday. I just didn't want to expend the energy, so I did as little as I could get away with.

The hunger started hitting me at about eleven, which is when I usually eat a bowl of cereal. It wasn't until late in the afternoon that it got serious, though. Before that, it wasn't hunger that bothered me as much as remembering not to eat. But it's kind of funny. After another couple of hours, I wasn't feeling as hungry any more. It's as if I'd passed through some kind of tempest and found myself suddenly floating in a peaceful lagoon. Or maybe I'm hallucinating.

Shasta Lake

Dogs defending the houseboat last month from an inflatable octopus (and a jet ski).

Either we journalers write about food an awful lot, or I'm just noticing it more. Everything I read today seemed to have some reference to eating in it. I don't blame people for thinking so much about eating. It's very, very important.

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