If you know me at all you know that any universe in which I would willingly consume even a teaspoon of crystalline white sugar could only be some sort of twilight zone, yet that is exactly what happened this morning after practice. As a rule I avoid refined white sugar like the plague, but I do occasionally allow sweeteners like jaggery or coconut sugar to creep into my diet, a tendency which I believe I should eradicate. On day 2 of the new year, after mentally but not formally acknowledging my own clear internal imperative to resolve not to consume any sugar other than what is found in whole foods such as fruit, I out-of-the-blue decided to add a teaspoon of sugar to my usual organic black tea with unsweetened almond mylk ( I make the mylk in the blender with almonds and water, this is fucking gulag-style chai), something I literally never, ever do. I do believe it was the first time I’ve ever taken from the canister of sugar that has been there on the shelf, for years. It was the only sweetener in the house! Still I must have been flouting the resolution I wanted to make but to which I was hesitating to actually commit. Due to……addiction? It is a white powder, after all. And I do feel like I’m cracked out now, 10 hours later.
The thing was, the tea tasted strange. I wondered if maybe this is what sugar tastes like to me now and my taste buds have changed, but of course I ruled that out. White sugar will always taste like sugar. It took me a minute to realize and confirm that it was indeed off, and I did take a few swallows of the liquid. It wasn’t bad per se, just odd.
In any case, this afternoon there arose a sudden commotion, and the pronouncement was made, “There’s ground glass in our sugar!” What the fuck? First step, clarify if it is really glass, and have we indeed swallowed ground glass. This could be another miscommunication like the “tiger” that was spotted last week two doors down, which later turned out to be just a “big dog.” Mani and Rita, the wonderful Indian ladies who live in the house, have discovered that our sugar has been cut with something cheaper than sugar, which Mani now explains is an Ayurvedic medicine that is made through a process that includes frying, boiling, and powdering to create an eyewash for red eyes, or can be put in a small cut to dry it out, but if taken internally is bad for the stomach. No wonder everyone was saying the coffee tasted weird.
The name for the medicine I think is “spadhiakaram,” which turns out not to be a Hindi word, but from the language of Mani’s native Kerala, Malayalam. I realize this whole excited and animated now 5-way conversation is being conducted in a combination of Malayalam, Hindi, Kannada, and English and maybe even some Marathi? I don’t even know. How am I supposed to learn Hindi if they’re talking to me in Malayalam?? At one point she’s just loudly repeating at me some words which we somehow figured out means “MSG,” which was the other theory on what it was that someone had used to cut the sugar. Apparently 1kg of white sugar is 40 rupees, and the Ayurvedic medicine which no one but Ayurvedic medicine-makers uses is only 10kg for a half kilo. There you go.
So we think we are going to be all right, and not die or shit blood or anything. Although I do feel strangely jacked up. I managed to obtain assurances that it is not poison, and is a natural substance of some sort. So that methamphetamine feeling I am currently experiencing is certainly due to the 1/2 tsp of sugar I consumed. And all the tea.
This morning as I was drinking the spiked tea I was thinking to myself “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down,” which is from Mary Poppins, whose name was also randomly invoked yesterday in some inexplicably creepy way. There may be some deviltry at work.
Morals of the story:
“NO ADDED SUGAR. ZERO. NONE.” With determination resolve not to consume added sugar, in accordance with your clear internal imperative; heed the intuitive and physical messages you have received. Stop being hesitant, wishy washy and weak! This goes for other resolutions as well; clarify and set your resolve and don’t stray from your decided and chosen course, even though you may be tempted by forces seemingly outside of yourself. Raise the boundaries and the barriers against such influence, and always keep in mind what you have willed to do.
Ease off on the stimulants, for crying out loud! A few cups of green tea will do. Sleep more.
This morning I was envisioning black silk saris and tons of kohl eyeliner, thinking “Fuck it, I’m just going to live in India and go native.” Well, if that’s true, for one, I should learn how to speak a few more languages. Also I’ll have to embrace the fact that sometimes I’m bound to imbibe the bad with the good, even if that means a little MSG or ground glass or spadhiakaram in my tea. But better not to take too many chances.