Have you ever noticed how many silly mistakes you make in your daily routine as a result of Lyme disease?
Things like, driving off while that cup of coffee sits on the roof of your car, or putting your shirt on backwards? While these sound like screw-ups that any relatively “normal” soul is prone to, perhaps the following will make you feel better about some of those other ones you’d rather not mention to anyone for fear that they might think, “Nobody ever does that! How could you be SO stupid?”
On Saturdays, I visit the organic food market here in San Jose, Costa Rica. I have to get up at 6 AM in order to attend, because this little market is the only one around that sells organic food and most of the good stuff is gone by 8 AM. The early rising is painful, but well-worth it, especially since Costa Rica boasts some of the most spectacular–and intriguing–tropical fruit around.
This past weekend, I picked up some starfruit. Yes, they do look a bit like a star–with angles and curves and parts protruding from a center. The skin is moderately thick, more so than an apple or peach, but not as much as a banana or an orange. Here, starfruit are often made into beverages, and I cheerfully stored mine in the fridge, anxious to try it out for the first time.
But then something bizarre happened.
I noticed myself acknowledging the fruit every time I opened the fridge, but that was all I did; acknowledge its presence, sitting there on the middle shelf, keeping cool and slowly ripening into a deeper shade of orange-yellow. I never took it out to eat, never decided to have a slice with my breakfast or lunch.
Days passed, and I kept my eye on the starfruit. Oh, how lovely it was! How delicious it would be when I finally ate it! More days passed, and I palpatated the skin. My glorious fruit was getting quite mature. Better hurry up and eat it. So I resolved to do so, after breakfast the following day. But another day passed, and I forgot about the fruit. I then determined I would eat it at my next meal.
So when the time came, I opened the refrigerator and reluctantly removed the fruit.
What was wrong with me? Hadn’t I wanted to try this sumptuous creation from Heaven? The fruit still looked edible. No, the problem was something else…the darned fruit confused me!
What? You may be asking. Yes, I know, Lyme disease sufferers often get confused by the simplest of things, but…a fruit? How is it possible for a fruit to confound a person? I don’t know. All I know is that I looked at it, perplexed at how to eat it. Should I remove the skin, like an orange? How in the world was I supposed to cut the thing, with so many grooves and curves? Was I supposed to take a knife down the middle, longitudinally, or slice it so that I’d be left with two fat ends? How was I supposed to get to the juicy part in the middle? If I got rid of the skin, I’d probably end up taking out too much meat. Should I slice it into portions, or simply bare my teeth into the sucker, meanwhile juicing my chin and perhaps my clothes?
It’s just a fruit, Connie, I told myself, knife in hand. Just eat it.
But I don’t know how…geez, why does this suddenly feel like so much effort? I put the knife down, and, cradling the fruit in my palm, set it back inside the refrigerator, deciding that I’d have it for dinner, when I would have more time to think about what to do with the thing. Yes, dinner…a dinner that would never come, but which I wouldn’t acknowledge right now, because it would mean wasting the fruit.
How could I waste my starfruit? Only a Lyme disease sufferer would be daunted enough to do such a thing. It’s only one of a million dysfunctional things I do every day. I’m glad nobody watches me go about my day. Nobody, that is, except my god. Don’t you feel better now about all those crazy little blunders you make every day?