Cravings es no Bueno

So. Pretty much ever since the first chemo treatment I’ve had a craving for meat. MEAT. Specifically, a certain kind of meat that I don’t know the name of and can only vaguely recall. We had some excellent barbecue shortly after, though I knew going in that brisket wasn’t what was eating away at the pleasure centers of the little caveman in my brain. I also discovered that brisket wasn’t what my foggy Texas brain thought it was, somehow confusing it with shredded pork.

Lacking an excuse with more substance, I blame the cancer.

So I had my brisket sandwich (since I couldn’t imagine anyone just wanting a plate full of brisket, which at the time I was confusing with the shredded pork, remember?) and it was really good, possibly the best I’ve had since leaving Texas and eating wherever my parents ate. But it wasn’t the MEAT in my brain. That MEAT belonged to a new Brazilian restaurant that’s opened up just down the block from us – Braza Churrascaria. Sadly, it’s a place that costs $27 a person, all-you-can-eat-style. Happily, I had a wallet with birthday money and limbs with weak, desiring MEAT.

If you haven’t eaten at one of these types of restaurants, here’s how it works. You sit at your table and are given a little coaster. One side’s red, the other green. You leave the coaster on its red side as you give your drink order and go over to the little rice/bean/salad/shrimp/NOT MEAT bar. Once you’re ready for MEAT, you turn your little coaster over to green, which I did pretty much on arrival. That’s when the parade begins.

Over to your table comes a person with a big metal stick loaded with, are you ready for this, MEAT. Little pieces of MEAT all in a MEATy row, basking in their MEAT goodness. They tell you what kind it is as you grunt at them and point at your plate. That person leaves and shortly another arrives with DIFFERENT MEAT. More grunting and serving. Occasionally, a person will arrive with one big hunk of meat on their stick and you have to help out. They cut the meat as you hold it with your very own set of tongs.

Your very own set of tongs.

That does need mentioning, because you might be distracted by the big-ass knife by your plate. The knife that says “This place is for MEAT. If you want a salad, go to the Outback where they have little salad knives.” Yeah, it’s a knife that would cause Crocodile Dundee to soil himself with his Foster’s-laced pee.

But enough about urine. We’re talking about MEAT here. And wouldn’t you know it, the first one out is the very one lodged in my brain. Some kind of beef tip thing marinated in some sort of other thing. Maybe garlic? Everything went a little fuzzy when it came by our table. I vaguely recall gesturing semi-nonthreateningly with the big-ass knife in a way that said “Please ma’am, I would like to sample the meat on your big metal stick. Please watch your fingers.”

As I took a bite of the little delicacy, watching the waitress scamper away with furtive glances over her shoulder, I was in… Hmmm… I was about to say “Heaven,” but that word doesn’t encapsulate it. It doesn’t have the power, the joy, the ecstasy, the elation, the oomph. All I can say was, I was in MEAT.

I was also, like many people wrist-deep in religion, in a battle. Today was not a good post-chemo day for me. Well, let me back up. Last night was a horrible post-chemo day for me and today was recuperation. At one point in the night, we were watching TV and the biggest wave of exhaustion I’ve had yet hit me. To the point where I’m debating between sleeping on the couch and having Barb carry me upstairs. I summoned up the strength to get to the second floor and collapsed in the bed. I literally had to lay where I fell because my arms had no strength to move me around. They didn’t even have the strength to move themselves around.


So today I had to miss work as I basically lay in one place, trying to put food into my body as I tried to work out the proper usages of “lie” and “lay” in my mind. Eventually I got enough in me to begin rudimentary moving around and made the decision to just always use “lay” until I can find my Strunk & White’s.

Here’s something I’ve now learned that I would like to pass on to you, my dear reader, free of charge. You see, I don’t charge because I know tips like this will keep you returning to my modest site to see what new stupid thing I’ve done.

Anyway, what I’ve learned is this: If you’ve spent a whole day lightly snacking and only moving when nature calls, don’t spend the night eating meat. Ignore cravings, because cravings are tied to your head rather than your gastrointestinal system which, incidentally, hasn’t been very pleased with me since the chemo treatment. I would say my GI tract is pissed at me, but that would only be funny if I were talking about my urinary tract, which currently has no issues with me. We’re cool.

The first hundred bites or so of the meat were great. The second hundred dwindled in popularity with me. Then it became a battle of stomach vs. brain, which wanted to get the most out of its 27 bucks it could. The stomach won. The brain gets back at it by occasionally thinking of the meat served, which sends a body-wide shiver through me and prompts a return to the loo for safety.

For now, at least, I think it’s safe to say this craving is dead. Goodbye, MEAT.