1. Food allergies: real or perceived?
In late-2020, after nine months of isolation living, I decided to treat myself to a binge purchase of at-home testing for personal health discovery.
I was aggressively excited about one of the tests in particular, a food sensitivity test by Everlywell. (No link because I’m not on commission, they don’t know I’m writing this, I don’t want any legal trouble here, and it’s incidental to the larger story, which, up front, I want you to know, is way weirder than food allergies, I’ll tell you.)
I had been floating the idea that I was allergic to gluten for years, with no way to verify while digestion was a problem, because I was coincidentally sans healthcare throughout the ten years of symptoms. Anyway, I ate gluten by the pound back then. And I didn’t feel great. But it was just a theory.
So I was all aflutter to learn the truth.
I cleaned up the blood in my kitchen, I mailed away the little bloody card, and I waited.
2. The truth will set you free
According to Everlywell, I’m not allergic to gluten at all. Not the least little bit.
I prepared my body to eat every single piece of gluten in existence to make up for the past ten years of moderately refraining from sandwiches.
(I still ate cookies. Come on, I gotta live. This was, in retrospect, an important clue that I was not, in fact, allergic to gluten.)
I Instacart-ed a grocery list heavy with a cross-section of gluten from all walks of standard American diet life, foods I’d now been denying myself for a decade. This included a bag of pretzel buns I’d been looking forward to; unfortunately, the grocery store was all out, and I had to settle for a sack of regular old, run-of-the-mill hot dog buns.
3. Here’s the part where I start to seem unhinged-
Guys, I don’t leave my house more than once or twice a week. I’m the only person who lives here, too. I live alone. I don’t even have a pet, except for marimo. If you don’t know, marimo are algae balls. They don’t move.
Guys, the hot dog buns are gone.
I can’t find them anywhere. I know I held them in my hands. I know they existed: they’re on that Instacart receipt.
I only went outside once since that grocery order arrived, on a short walk. I wasn’t holding a bag of hot dog buns when I did it.
I’m a functional person. I have a good memory. I’m holding down a job. I maintain relationships. My perception of reality is sharp and reliable.
Guys, did I eat those hot dog buns in my sleep? If so, did I eat the bag too? Because I can’t find that either.
These hot dog buns are like that scene in Fight Club, or in Sixth Sense, or any other movie with one of those psychological twists that make you feel wild but also entertained because it’s not happening to you and also it’s a total fiction.
This isn’t fiction though.
My apartment is around 600 square feet. I am a neat freak. I put everything away in a particular spot all the time.
I can’t find the hot dog buns.
Did I eat them, along with the bag? Did I sleepwalk them outside and throw them into the snow? Am I leading a double life where I sell hot dogs on the street in the night-time?
So I’m doing the only logical thing a person in my shoes could do: I hired a hypnotist to search my subconscious for the hot dog buns.
To be continued…