In terms of cravings, I’ve found it’s actually much harder to give up sugar and soda than to stop using drugs. This includes heroin, crack, meth, alcohol, cigarettes–everything. Of course the cravings are different types of cravings. The worst are the kind that you realize you’re only giving in to because you want to have a social experience, whether going out to to the store for a quick conversation with the woman who owns the local tienda. Just to have a reason to quickly go out and quickly return.
As far as my water and coffee fast is going, I finally ran out of coffee today. I had my last cups this afternoon. Now I must survive with only water. I thought trying to wean off Effexor at the same time would only complicate my fast but it has so far only made it more interesting, given it a texture it wouldn’t otherwise have. One of the side effects of withdrawal from Effexor is the feeling of disconnection from the rest of the world. This is not always a bad thing when your entire body seems to be desirous of one thing–sugar.
I haven’t shaved since I started the coffee and water fast. That is my way of measuring the amount of time it’s been. Last time I had a beard I was living in NYC in 2005. Amazing to see how quickly all my facial hair has become white, not even grey, but white. At least I still have most of my hair. Not sure how a white beard will look once it’s full. I’ve developed permanent vertical deep creases in my forehead, each starting at the edge of an eyebrow and going up. Otherwise, I’m still something of a baby-faced cracker.
It’s been so long since I had to see hipsters prancing by on a daily basis. Last time was in 2014 in Las Vegas. It’s life their lives are one never ending costume party. Must be fun to waste your money trying to make yourself look like something you’re not. Last I saw they were all wearing suspenders and dressing like loggers from the 1930s. I had a woman ask me why I dressed like a “vago” or bum the other day. If I were Mexican they would just assume it’s poverty. I had on clothes I wear when I paint. I was wearing a western shirt with the sleeves cut off still stiff with dried white paint from where I spent a long week painting the ceilings and walls of my friend Tony’s tattoo studio here in Oaxaca. While we were working some guys from one of the local gangs came in and demanded that Tony start to pay $6000 pesos a month as protection money. He told them he’d like to help but also to go fuck themselves. He said this tactfully and they never came back. He used me as a wildcard backup. It’s always fun when locals meet me and then I see the disappointment fly from their faces when they discover I’m a nobody. I guess that’s better than being mistaken for Daniel Johns of that Australian band Silverchair. I used to get that a lot and once in college there were two women from Australia visiting our dorm and when they saw me, one of them quite literally ran me down and started bawling in my arms. I had no idea he was so popular. She didn’t seem to mind that I wasn’t Daniel Johns until the next morning when I kicked her out of bed. (I’m joking.)
Daniel Johns has gotten skinnier and lost quite a bit of bleached hair and is obviously a man with money, so we rarely get confused these days.
The last person I was confused with looked nothing like me. He was just another white guy in Mexico who had tried to ingratiate himself with a waitress he thought was cute by giving her a 25% tip on a hotel meal. I’m guessing things didn’t work out. I went for a walk one day up by the Hotel Fortin Plaza and this girl, who I could hear long before I could see, came rushing toward me, screaming obscenities in English. (Note: always cuss in your native language. The accent mars the real feeling and believe it or not, even if people don’t speak your language, cussing can be understood almost universally.)
When she got within a few feet of me she realized her mistake and then, maybe to save face, she said, “You look like a culero.”
“I probably did deserve it,” I said. “Would you like to kick me in the balls?”
She laughed. She did have a nice laugh. And a nice smile. I felt bad kicking her out of bed the next day. She’ll never learn, I thought, watching her storm off down the street cussing me again. (Just kidding again.)