(Credit for the title of this post goes to Jonathan Larson and RENT.)
Somewhere in the back of my mind is a dilapidated box labeled “Painless”. It is dilapidated because that is what happens to boxes when they are left, empty, in the back of an attic. My brain is, in many ways, like an attic…with fewer spiders.
I remember being so emotionally numb that I craved physical pain. I needed a fix of feeling. Any feeling, really — but pain registers to be a strong feeling, and I wanted something strong. And then I remember being in so much emotional pain that I tried to drown it by making myself physically numb. And then, a few weeks ago, I was in agonizing physical pain, and nothing would take off the edge.
Pain and I go back quite a while. Hence, my box of Painless things has been empty for some time.
Now, I know I started this post off with something that would seemingly segue into a deeper discussion on pain and the value of being able to feel, or something. We may have that discussion at a later point in time.
Right now, I just want to talk to you about ice cream.
Much of my attachment to the break between fall and spring semesters is tied to food. “Holiday” food is incredible. Fudge. Chex Mix. Wassail. Brownies. A plethora of soups, and breads, and side dishes that somehow incorporate potatoes. Homemade wonders. And there’s always the surprise unknown-something-or-other that a neighbor drops by…you do not ask what is in it, but you eat it. And it is surprisingly delicious and doesn’t give you food poisoning.
In my beloved place of residence, we have Farr’s Peppermint Stick ice cream every Winter Break. A bowl of said ice cream is the official kick-off of three weeks of gluttony. I top mine with dark chocolate syrup.
So, I just had my Inaugural Bowl of Amazingness. And now I’m biding my time until the pain kicks in, because I am NOT SUPPOSED TO EAT DAIRY. My out-of-control anxiety does a lot of crazy things, including but not limited to mimicking various physical disorders of sorts. Like lactose intolerance. Ergo, Dani isn’t supposed to eat massive bowls of Farr’s Peppermint Stick ice cream.
But she did anyway. Now we are sitting here, waiting for my body to engage in war against the celebratory dairy product that has been consumed by it. Do I care? I am sure my answer will differ in half an hour. For the time-being, we are contented.
Yet another experience that will leave the Painless box empty.
C’est la vie.