And now for something completely different…

I am a hopeless addict. My addiction affects every particle of my being, everything from pill-popping to chocolate and I’m an especial devotee of JD Salinger. While I have at least quit drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes – Oh, how I miss those frozen martinis in bathtubs on sticks with the giant bluish green olives! – I nonetheless preserve my assignment and enslavement to almost every other habit one can possibly cultivate from the moment of arising from the virginal lair to the evening descent thereto. This so-called creature of habit is visibly one who long ago created for himself what he perceives to be the ideal circumstance and behaviour. Why remold the perfect design?

Yet today my apple-pie order and daily repetitions were rocked. I was suddenly overtaken by an unwitting disturbance. It insinuated and outstripped my petty compulsions and cravings. The abrupt alteration arose like an unforeseen volcano from within as I began to stalk the aisles and shelves at Farm Boy during what I thought was merely going to be collection of the standard provisions; viz., Granny Smith apples, Kéfir, mixed seasonal greens, etc. But I was wrong!

Not only did I find myself uncharacteristically surveying aisles I normally disregard. To sharpen the wild diversion of my mind I further found myself trolling with keen interest the prepared foods – both carnivorous and Oriental. The balmy summer afternoon breeze had clearly dismantled much of the dust upon me. To appreciate the transition, I am bound to record that this lightening percolation had nothing whatever to do with the blunt instrument of passion that is appetite. I had had my morning sufficiency, a nose bag of sliced green apple and steel cut oats. Instead I was overcome by the exacting and clarifying conclusion that it was time for something new, something different! It was an isolated cerebral modification – somehow free of the contamination of vulgar visceral expropriation. In an instant I cast aside the compulsion and dependency upon which I have unhesitatingly and inalterably relied. It was as much an awakening to something new as is possible for a septuagenarian to relate.

Naturally I am aware of the limitation upon this apparent improvement. It is hardly revolutionary. Nor frankly do I care that it is not.  Nonetheless the moderate alteration of my usual prescription affords me the singular sentiment of novelty howsoever trifling it may be. Fresh basil! Vine ripened tomatoes! Pad Thai! The larder is replete with innovation and a degree of culinary ingenuity! Not to mention the black olive and rosemary Taralli common to the southern half of the Italian peninsula Рbut now adorning the rustic counter of country folk! I say!

This precipitous amendment transpires within the erstwhile predictable formula once governed by inalterable composition. I won’t say I’ve developed a new phase but there is unquestionably new extension. Appropriation of zeal of any account is not to be diminished. My facility with custom is partly the result of narrowness and constraint which admittedly can provoke small margins. In the meantime I flatter myself to have kindled a small flame in an otherwise dwindling candle. Nor thankfully have succeeded to sink the former but lingering routines.