Primitive Grains

A Passage from Luminous Airplanes, or Things As They Were: A Hyperromance

Skeptic though he was about practically everything else, in the kitchen Alex became a kind of alchemist, looking for the Philosopher’s Stone of total well-being. In the years that I knew him, he tried

the vegetarian diet,
the pescetarian diet,
the pollotarian diet,
the fruitarian diet,
the macrobiotic diet,
the raw-foods diet,
the juice-only diet, a/k/a the liquitarian diet,
the primitive-grains diet, not to be confused with the paleolithic diet;
the gluten-free diet,
the no-grain diet,
the low-carb diet,
the high-protein diet,
the halal diet,
the Hunza diet,
the Atkins diet,
the Zone diet,

and combinations of these diets, some of which reduced his alternatives practically to nothing (have you ever met a low-carb macrobiotic?), while others were indistinguishable (to the uninitiated, anyway) from ordinary unrestricted eating.

None of them worked, or at least, none of them worked as well as Alex wanted them to work, thus the combinations and recombinations. But then, there wasn’t anything wrong with his health, either. Was there some extra level of health out there, which only Alex was aware of, a super-healthiness that came with special powers, immortality, telepathy, the ability to fly? Or was it, as I sometimes suspected, that Alex was looking less for health than for rules to follow—was it that he enjoyed (as I found out later, accidentally, to everyone’s embarrassment) being held in some kind of restraint?

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