Monday, April 26, 2021

The Middle Path is Sneaky Magic

I'm the only person I know who cooks healthy - whole grains, limited salt and saturated fat- but who enjoys a wide, diverse diet, overall. Most people who're careful are ascetic crazies who never have any fun and would eat barbed wire before touching a plate of mofungo. And most people who eat as widely and diversely as I do know no restraint. They salt their pizza and they're sweaty and they clutch with alarm at their gall bladders and they figure I'm a monk or whatever. Brown rice? Really?

Chowhounds don't grok my discipline, but ascetics can't grok my brio. Both view me as transgressive, even though I'm evidently coming out the winner.

It's very much like my politics. Centrism means antagonizing absolutely everyone. As I wrote here, the mask thing was rough for me.
The assistant manager of my local supermarket goes maskless, standing inches away from cashiers (who don't dare complain) while waiting to switch out cash drawers. I try to stay clear while he swaggers down the middle of aisles. Spotting me, with my mask (always worn indoors), recoiling from his passage, he probably thinks "liberal pussy".

Outdoors, I walk with a neighbor up our sleepy lane. We maintain the required distance, but do not wear masks. Sometimes we pass tremulous neighbors in enormous masks and astronaut gloves, clearly terrified/furious at the transgressive MAGA brutes despite the extra space we politely give them.
I'm just following science! Mask indoors, no mask outdoors, where there's huge air flow. There's no inconsistency, just rationality. So why can't anyone else seem to color within those bright lines? The "sane man in an insane world" is a cliché, but the Middle Path is perennially alien.

My savings are mostly in conservative index funds. Prudent! But a small slice goes into highly speculative stocks (mostly biotech). I've made far more profit from that small slice - it wags the dog - but my luck could change one day. And that would be ok because the majority is safe. Friends see my high-risk investing and warn me to be more conservative. It breaks their brains to consider that most of my savings are invested grandma-style. It doesn't compute; people who do that don't do this, and people who do this don't do that!

Nobody seems able to grok a "this and that" proposition. The Middle Path is like magic. No one can see it, no one can understand it, but it's like a secret weapon for yielding good results. I eat well, and am only slightly overweight (after a sedentary year due to foot injury). I've enjoyed Lotto-ish success from some investments (e.g. bought this in November) while also sleeping comfortably. And I never did get COVID, though I got out of the house plenty.

The weirdest thing is that I'm oddly heterosexual. Tempermentally, I probably ought to straddle the line. But I'm just not a fan of male anatomy. An aesthetic call.

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