Yesterday I apologized to thousands of my followers for not reporting the hair raising events and near-death experiences of Day 3 of The Clean Program cleanse. I can only imagine the throngs of frantic nail-biting, teeth-grinding, hair pulling acolytes as they sat by their computers awaiting word of the dangerous and often deadly Day 3. I thank each and every one of you for your heartfelt concern. Honestly it means so much to know the faceless hoards are there beside me as I descend deeper and deeper into the madness, the hallucinations, the abject misery of detoxification. From the bottom of my soon-to-be sparkling clean and glimmering colon, I say someday we will break bread together once again - it may be gluten and wheat free rice/almond bread, which may actually bend instead of break, and we may have to wash it down with sugar free hemp milk, but one day all three of us, or maybe just me and the site administrator, will party down.
Day 3 was absolutely horrific. I awoke at dawn as usual, eager for my 15 mile run over Bolinas Road to Alpine Dam and back before sunup, hoping I might catch a mountain lion on their way home from a night of ripping the flesh off of furry little bunnies, when, without warning, I tripped over the sleeping dog and went sprawling across the hardwood bedroom floor as the air compressor I use for sleep apnea came flying off the night stand, spilling the water from the humidifier all over my sleeping wife. "You dork" she mumbled, "you forgot to take your breathing mask off again." But I barely heard her for the tinnitus ringing in my ears from years of starring in a major rock and roll band was already at full volume, crickets screaming "good morning shit-for-brains", and on top of that I was sure I had re-torn my ACL and perhaps damaged some of the titanium rods that are holding together my lower back. It was with the depressing thought that I might have to cut my run down to 10 miles that I went into the bathroom to remove the overnight blue whale baleen suppositories I had installed the night before to combat my ever-swelling prostate. Then I realized I was hungry. I was so damn hungry that I thought I could probably eat a whole gluten/wheat free English muffin with Barney Butter for breakfast, just like I used to do every morning. But no. I was on The Cleanse.
So I had an apple. Under normal circumstances and according to the rules of The Clean Program I was to wait until I could have my morning shake, which my wife makes as she is the keeper of all things Cleanse, doling out the shakes and the required supplements in a little dish like a nurse at the psych ward. I had the apple because of the two dozen or so medications I take each morning to help me stand upright and avoid speaking in tongues, and some of these meds (the more powerful psychoactive varieties that in higher doses are used to treat seizures and schizophrenia) need to be taken with food. Like an apple. Not necessarily a crispy English muffin dripping with honey and Barney Butter, no. A plain apple would do.
Then after thinking about running 10 miles for about 30 seconds I sat down at my computer, checked my work email - I only had 75 or so unread messages - checked my calendar to see how many inane and senseless conference calls I was scheduled to attend - there was one going on at that moment but I was only on copy so I figured I could blow it off - and logged onto Facebook. Hours went by and it wasn't until my boss sent me an email telling me to log the fuck onto instant messaging and to call intellectual property law immediately because I was already 3 hours late (I live on the west coast, she lives on the east coast. I will always be three hours late and there's not a damn thing I can do about it) and just like that my 2-hour Facebook bubble had burst, just because of an overzealous and rude over-achiever needs to get something done!
But by now I am feeling faint, so I plead with Holly to please make me a shake. With chocolate and espresso ice cream! Please! And put some crunchy roasted nibs in there! And a cup of coffee, for god's sake! But she knew I was just joshin' around so she blended up the almond milk, the super laxative cleansing powder, frozen peaches, the rhyzome detox protein powder and...and...water? I don't know I don't wanna know what's in these things but they don't taste too bad so I quaffed it down, hoping the dizziness would abate and I could call intellectual property law before I passed out and got fired. But the dizziness did not abate in fact it only grew worse to where I thought I was going to fall out of my chair as I stared at my computer screen while little chocolate chip cookies squeezed out the bottom of my monitor then lowered themselves to my desktop one by one until there were several hundred of the little cookies then one started singing a little cookie song and they all joined in "well I like me a chocolate chip cookie/like me a little glass o' milk/like me a chocolate chip cookie/ and a frisky 23-yr old hooker" and the next thing I knew they were in a conga line around my monitor then down my desk and back again and now the sock monkeys have joined in and my little dog boo is standing in the doorway in a 3 piece tuxedo with a glass of champagne reciting ts eliot and at this point I dare not eat a peach for I am slowly slipping into delirium.
Now I'm alone. I don't know where my wife and daughter and dog and all those little cookies and sock monkey have gone but there's nobody here, as my mother often said in the depth of her Alzheimers "there's nobody here!". She would yell it out and I was sitting right across the table from her and I would say "what am I mom, chopped liver?" At least she laughed. And now I know exactly how she felt, being deep in a cleansemare, a horrible state between life and death, eating and starving, awake and sleeping, Republican and Democrat, to be or not to be...this is where I am, terrified to the tips of my hungry little toes, when I see a light coming in through the window, and on it a slides a little Disney nymphette, sliding down the beam of light like a pole dancer, no bigger than a mouse, until she lands on my desk and I swear to god it’s Tinkerbell in that rather revealing castaway Lost Boys outfit and suddenly my hunger is gone and I’m thinking about sex! Sex with a little cartoon! And she says “that’s the last thing you need in your condition big boy” (she doesn’t know how sensitive I am about my bigness) “Guess what”? she continues. “There are no cleanse police here right now. Nobody to bust your chops. Oh sorry did I say chops? I mean balls. So, anyway. You look sleepy. You sleepy? Have a cup of coffee! Have two! Have some cookies! You can eat whatever you want so long as you do it soon. The wife and kid are not gonna be back for at least an hour.”
So that’s what I do. I have always been good at following directions so I make a pot of coffee and a couple of Barney Butter on Rice/Almond bread sandwiches and midway through the coffee I start to feel better and by the end of the first cup I and the first sandwich I am feeling fine. So I cheated a little bit. The rest of the day I was clean as a whistle. I just needed a little taste to get back on track. A little slip. A little cup o coffee and Barney Butter sandwich – on rice almond bread mind you!
I’m only glad I lived long enough to keep cleansing another day, to have my evening shake with gratitude with a bowl of brown rice, to truly savor those supplements. And what do we learn from this, oh ye massive unwashed hordes of humanity?
Never underestimate the power of Barney Butter.
After day 3, who gives a shit?