November 23, 2010
I got up late for work today. Not only did that mean that I had 10 minutes fewer to suffer aggravating consumer demands and even more aggravating management demands (yay) but it also meant that I had less time for breakfast (boo). I was able to throw together a quick PB & J for lunch later on, and grab a candy bar on my way out the door. Evidently I was aiming for the specialized chocolate food group this morning, and neglecting the more basic, less likable ones.
Work felt laborious, and by 1:30pm my internal system was shocked to find, at its metabolic peak, only 360 calories coming its way. A grand total of 640 calories for the day thus far, and that following an evening of fasting. If it were possible for one's own biological system to give her the middle finger, mine would have done it. For the next couple of hours I found myself breathing rapidly and heavily as I worked, in an attempt to keep from passing out. I'm sure I got some interesting looks from co-workers, though I was too busy trying to maintain consciousness to notice. At any rate, no one came to my assistance (thanks guys). Maybe if I had been able to somehow text my strained breathing to their cell phones they would have caught on. But that's another blog. And possibly an obscene phone call.
But as I labored, and labored to breathe, my thoughts kept turning to the Bolivian workers I had learned of recently, who effectively labor as slaves. Many of them endure the heat and cold through 16 hour days, on probably fewer than 1,000 calories, while they whack away at sugar cane with machetes, rushing to gather enough bundles to satisfy their labor masters. This is incredibly taxing work, and I'm certain that I would not last long in such conditions.
These men have my utmost respect, and today they have my heart, for what it's worth.