Sunday, October 21, 2007

Suicide in the Heartlands

No, I'm still alive. No, I'm not dying. Its been one devil of a week, and I'm not adapting well to the changes in the season, and the changes I fail to acknowledge around me. Posting had taken a back seat for a few days as I've traveled the State working, and attempted to get life under control.

This weekend four of us ventured into one of the most well known shows in middle America. Its called the Circleville Pumpkin Show. Its touted as the largest free show around. There are parades, and food. There are shows and food. There are rides and food. There is culture shock.

I don't want to come off sounding snobbish, although I probably will sound just like that, but I really felt out of place. People were gobbling down thousand of pieces of pumpkin pie, pumpkin donuts, deep fried Swiss cheese, deep fried veggies, and the "awesome blossom", which is a deep fried onion. There were tons of pumpkin fudge, and pumpkin taffy, and pumpkin pizza being sold.

I walked around the streets looking at the people with their cigarettes hanging from their lips, and their stomachs sticking three feet out in front of them.

I saw their complexions deteriorate by the second as they inhaled the grease, and drank the sugar infused lemonade and soda pop.

I'll admit that the four of us, Keely, Katie, Kara and myself, committed suicide in the heartlands. We wallowed in festival with our feed bags strapped to our mouths, and within one hour felt like lawn trout. We were bloated. We were sluggish. We were ready to curl up and sleep, allowing our stomachs to purge themselves of the infestation.

Am I glad that I assaulted my system? Did it really taste good? Was it worth it?


I'm human. For this one afternoon, if felt great to get out in the clean fall air of small town America. It was nice to feel the press of the crowds and to get in touch with the people. To see the looks, and hopes on the faces, so many dreaming of a simpler time in their lives when the tons of pills, the horrors of war, and the fear of economic depression, did not weigh heavily upon their shoulders.

It reminded me of how much food is as much a method of communication, as it is nutrition for our bodies. When we venture into the world we must be the diplomats, honoring the choices others make, leading by example not by demand. Guiding not shoving. Listening, not threatening.

I'm glad I had that donut, that pumpkin cream puff, the deep fried onion rings with aged cheddar sauce that tasted like melted Velveeta, the deep fried cheese stuffed pretzel with nacho cheese sauce, the pumpkin pizza, the kettle corn, the pumpkin fudge, and the deep fried Swiss cheese, all washed down with the birch beer. The best thing we had was the bottled water. For an afternoon I was able to reconnect with my past and reinforce my choices for the future.

Oh, and yes, I feel like the garbage that I stuffed inside my system, just like everyone else does this morning in middle America. I just wish everyone else would realize why they feel like hell.

Oh God, I need a smoothie and a colonic....


Nikki said...

Good for you Bob! (& Keely, Katie & Kara!) Being honest with yourself is important and enjoying some cooked/processed/delicious food at the pumpkin show is fine. You're a real person with a real life and you are allowed to make whatever choice you feel like making.

I'm glad you enjoyed your treats and are now back to your normal daily routine of eating nutrient dense raw fruits & veggies! Enjoy the journey.

~ Nikki

Bob Bush said...

Thanks Nikki! You've got it right, this is a journey. Just like any vacation, if we don't look around, we just might miss something that would make reaching our final destination all the sweeter!

Take care!