Sunday, November 03, 2013

I REALLY Love Beer!

It also really loves me.  It sticks around for a while.

I recently picked up a mild enterococcus infection that treated me like an occasional punching bag.  I began to feel that odd soreness of muscles that is not the soreness of a hard workout.  It's abnormal and I knew immediately that something was ramping up.  Then my legs got weak.  That's the sure sign, when my thighs feel fatigued for no reason.  Then I developed a low grade fever of about 99 degrees.  Nothing disabling but just enough to feel mildly crappy.  It was as if I'd been tossed into a vat of some vile, vaguely smelly, slightly warm and indescribable liquid and forced to wade around in it.  All the good ol' symptoms were there: sore skin, slight muscle fatigue, night sweats, and a general feeling that something ain't right.  I kept thinking the fever would really whack me out one day and go up over 100 then break at night and I'd be done with it in a day or two which is what generally happens.

But no!  It would go away, then come back for a day, and the vague creepiness remained even when the fever was gone.  Urinalysis showed the enterococcus.  I kept wondering if it would develop into a case of prostatitis.  In fact, I was hoping for it because then I could get some serious drugs and knock it out.  I didn't want to take drugs unless it really started in on me in earnest.  It never went there.  It never got worse.  I just felt vaguely shitty for a week but never shitty enough to be able to just take to me bed.

Then it left.  My immune system functioned well and did it in.  I think. 

The odd after effect is that I actually feel remarkable good now that it's gone.  Much better than I did before it got me.  Since I had less appetite I ate no snacks during the week.  Since I felt like shit I didn't drink any alcohol because that makes me feel worse when I'm under the weather.  Whoever prescribed hot toddies for a cold was nuts.

I also lost a bunch of weight.  I can get my kilt on now without saying a prayer.  I can bend over and tie my shoes without letting out a weird guttural noise that starts around my belt line and ends in "-CK!"  I also am waking up with no headaches from muscle strain during sleep.  Yes neighbors!  It's the new slimmer, trimmer me!  Gonna jump back and kiss myself! 

So, enjoying being lighter on my feet and sleeping better, I thought I would continue on this way for a while.  It isn't really hard to do when I think of the headaches.  There's nothing worse than waking up feeling exhausted and as though you have hunched your shoulders tightly all night.  That's the effect of sleep apnea, y'all, and any alcohol after about 6PM usually lays that on me to some degree.  I've had a moment or two lately when I had time to imbibe before dinner, but the memory of a headache that seems to come from deep within the brain and grips my head like a huge iron hand all day long kept me from that bottle of bock.

I weakened, however.  I started to remember the visceral pleasure of the first taste of a large malty ale after a long week at the job.  Mmmmmhmmmmm.  It's a thing that runs completely through me from the tip of my tongue to the tips of my toes.  We've all had that experience with some kind of consumable thing, whether it's beer, or wine, or coffee, or hot fudge, or a good beef stew.  It's a moment that can't be duplicated.  The second mouthful isn't as good, by just a weeeee smidgen.  It's close, but the impact of that first taste is enough to have me considering just having that, and pouring out the rest.  It's a little perverted, but the thought does cross my mind. 

So this last Friday, feeling most excellent at the thought of not being at work for two days, and feeling generally swell, I gave in to the bottle of bock in reefer. Remember when they used to call a refrigerator a reefer?  It morphed into "the fridge" in our house when I was a lad in the late Sixties in Berkeley.  I wonder why?  Hmmm.  Phhhhfffft!

That cold beer was everything it could be!  It was so good I wished I could just put my whole face in it.  I once again envisioned the eternal fantasy of being able to drink beer whenever I wanted without getting drunk, or fat, or cirrhosis.  I had visions of beer in all its glorious manifestations lined up in glasses awaiting my attention.  I'd drink it all slowwwwwwly, with every swallow tasting as viscerally fulfilling as the first. 

But no!  The Great Tragedy of Beer is the impossibility of such a dream ever coming true.  In order for the perfect balance of malted barley, hops and water to be fully absorbed to the point where your emotions become involved, you have to avoid it for days on end.  Like all pleasures, it must be constantly delayed for it to have any meaning at all.  It all works out in the end.  If you delay such gratification, you'll lose weight and feel better.  In my case, that's when beer tastes the best.  When I feel trashed, it's just another bubbly thing that makes me feel bloated and older than ancient camel shit.  When I feel good and vital, good beer surrounds me with an amber cloud of happiness and contentment.

Now, having had my long-delayed treat, I have to close that door and go back to the world of water and pineapple juice and coffee.  Water is the best of course.  No less an authority than Cy Young said it in his Rule #2 for pitching success:

"Cultivate good habits: Let liquor severely alone, fight shy of cigarettes, and be moderate in indulgence of tobacco, coffee, and tea... A player should try to get along without any stimulants at all: Water, pure cool water is good enough for any man."

Well, who am I to argue with someone who won 511 games in his career?  


Blogger Don said...

As crooned by the Sons of the Pioneers.

Your ordeal sounds bluidy awfu'. I'm a lucky motherfucker to have none of these ills. Cannot account for it.

5:33 PM  

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