“No coffee this morning!” That’s the annoying note I left last night by the coffee pot, to check the habitual ritual of  my somnolent pre-dawn self. I greet the world today not with my beverage of choice but with yet another jug of Gatorade and Miralax, the choice elixir of the medical diagnosticians who also imposed upon me the fast that went on all day yesterday and will continue ’til mid-afternoon. Nothing human is alien to me, but being deprived of caffeine will soon have me feeling alien enough. Ah, the cost of vigilance in superintending one’s middle years.

I thought there was no place more humanizing, in the sense of reminding a human of his animality, than the dentist’s chair. But I’ll bet the colonoscopy couch will top it. I wish Montaigne had had an opportunity to write about it. I probably won’t.


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