February 24, 2006

Pastry Powerrrr!

I’m having a sugar high of the most insane degree.

I’ve tried to do three different things, but couldn’t focus on any one of them for longer than a minute, and had to switch back between the others, all with a mumbled running commentary. To myself. I’m betting everyone thinks I’m crazy now, if they didn’t already.

It’s because of the Danish.*

I had just mentioned to CD the other day how I planned to bring one of those lowfat Entenmann’s danish into work, because I was hungry for pastry, but didn’t want to eat the whole thing. So what happens? A breakfast meeting gets cancelled and the office is stuck with a bacon-broccoli quiche and an entire tray of cream cheese danish.

I have not had a full-fat pastry item in many years. I think the last one was at Edinburgh airport, because they had a Brioche Doree, and since I was hungover and absolutely certain I would die on the flight, I had an apricot danish and a cup of Nescafe (since Nescafe owns the UK like Starbucks owns the US; it’s a thing). Best. Danish. Ever. Probably the best food item I have ever had. I realize it could just have tasted all the sweeter in light of my impending death, but I don’t care; it was glorious.

So, today, I recognize that the danish looks really freaking good, and I put those evil rationalization skills that hide in the back of your brain right to work: I have been very good on my diet. I have been running over ten miles a week. I haven’t eaten any crap food in some time. I have a big ol’ cup of coffee on my desk, with a looming six-inch pastry void right next to it. I allow myself a small treat.

I take half a danish. I’m very pleased with myself.

I sit primly at my desk, allowing ten minutes to read whatever’s on McSweeney’s and enjoy my half-danish and coffee. I feel European.

The Danish, guys. The danish is magical. It takes you places—places with prismatic colors and girls with kaleidoscope eyes. You stop attempting to read; you can’t read, because all is danish and danish is all. You stare at the flaky layers after each bite. You take turns biting the frosting side and the cream cheese middle, sipping coffee in between for maximum flavor content. How can a pastry with no fruit taste so damn good? It’s just cheese. Cheese and sugar and butter and my god it’s all so simple and it’s a good thing I don’t have a first born because I would trade it for one more little tiny bit of this danish because it’s gone.

It’s gone. My life is over.

I dull the pain by taking a walk, in the hopes of burning a few calories and recouping some sense of self. I am alone without the danish.

But not for long, you see, for my metabolism has begun to process the danish, and the mysterious ingredients within have broken down into a magical chemical compound. I now have super powers. I can type at the speed of light. I have over 300 thoughts per minute, ranging from buying my dog’s heartworm pills to planning my entire summer vacation. My planner is now full of things I need to do, things I want to do, and things I never knew I wanted to do. I want to clean. I want to organize things. I want to throw out all my old clothes that don’t fit. I want to dust. I don’t care that I have to work tonight because I now have seven arms and can serve drinks like any ten men. I am doing Tae Bo with a mighty gusto tonight, even though I won’t get home until after eleven. I don’t even need food. I don’t even need coffee. I can go on forever. I’ll never sleep again.

I can probably see in the dark.

What is this power you have over me, danish? Is it a passing thing? Will I be suddenly deflated in a few hours, when I hit the low and everything goes in slow-motion and the world is blurry and it’s impossible to accomplish anything because I won’t remember how to lift my head? Would you do that to me, danish? Are you an inconstant lover, a danish-come-lately? Do you fill me with promise, then leave me spent and gasping on the silken ottoman of exhaustion, deprived of all ability to function? Would you, could you, be so cruel?

There are brownies in the conference room… maybe I’ll grab one. Just in case my sweet danish turns fickle. Just for a backup. Just so I’m not useless after five o’clock.

And just a half.

*The pastry, not the people. Word seems to want to capitalize Danish; I’ll just uncap it to avoid confusion. I am typing really fast right now.

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