It’s been over ten years since I last took a multivitamin, probably a Flintstones chewable or a gummy bear vitamin from Whole Foods. I Googled the phrase, “Do multivitamins work?” and the medical consensus seemed to be, “Kinda, but not really.” This did not deter me. I like the idea of a pill that gives me all the nutrients, every nutrient, probably because my conception of “nutrients” isn’t too far from Steve Rogers’s vitarays. I picture every cell in my body being enriched, enhanced, and perfected, my bad vision correcting itself, and my bones hardening into adamantium. This is my understanding of how multivitamins work.
On the advice of the GNC employee, I purchased Ultra Mega Green Men’s which he explained has antioxidants, plant stuff, whole food stuff, and miscellaneous vitamins and stuff. The next morning, I took two of them for the first time. After a few minutes, I felt hungry and strangely detached from my body as if my ghost were drifting in and out of its skin suit. I tried to write an article called Things I Thought About While Watching The Lost World: Jurassic Park—which admittedly is too long of a title. After typing three or four sentences, I felt creatively bankrupt and disappointed at how little I had to say for myself, for my existence, so I walked down to Lincoln Park. I knew the ocean was close by, but I’m always unaware of my location in space, time, and Chicago, so I wandered in circles around the zoo for an hour before heading back to my apartment. An inexplicable sense of urgency weighed on me, an anxious feeling there was something I needed to do and I was not doing it.
My pee was a vivid tropical shade of yellow.
I took two more pills in the morning, and to help with nutrient absorption, I ate three scrambled eggs with a can of green tea. Again, I had a surge of restless anxiety without any clear cause. I considered the possibility that maybe a lifetime of vitamin deficiency had spared me from my real self, my anxious restless self; that I simply hadn’t had enough nutrients to sustain the level of neurosis my brain yearned for on a neurochemical level.
My pee looked like a Hawaiian pineapple cocktail type drink. Probably unhealthy. I made a note to drink more water.
I stared at the computer screen for a long time, eyes glazed, chewing chunks of skin off of my lips. Googled “Who is Kate Bosworth?” Googled “How important is flossing?” Googled “What did people sit on before chairs were invented?” Googled “Likelihood of getting caught filesharing.”
Watched a youtube video of a 21 foot long saltwater crocodile caught in the Philippines. Asked my roommate, “How long is 21 feet?”
“Shorter than my dick, longer than our apartment.”
“That’s pretty long.”
Then I wandered outside in the rain for an hour before swinging by a Starbucks where I purchased a venti peppermint white mocha with five shots of espresso using a free drink coupon I’d acquired. This fueled my anxiety’s acceleration into full throttle mania.
I found myself focused intensely on the movie The Blindside about how Sandra Bullock helped a black kid discover his only way out of crime and poverty: being a football player. The black kid didn’t know what the phrase “legal guardian” meant which seems unlikely. Surely he knew the word “legal” and the word “guardian.” Surely he could decipher the meaning of the two words when used in conjunction. Seems racist. I started lecturing my roommate about racism in Hollywood, but he seemed distracted by the Dave and Buster’s website.
In the evening, I intermittently pressed my fingers against my forehead as if trying to hold two halves of my skull together. At one point, I caught myself staring malevolently out the front window at people passing by on the street. I felt skeletal and ghoulish. All this tension and unease weighed on me. The vitamins are reinvigorating long silent mechanisms in my brain designed only to produce anxiety and self-loathing. It’s the sudden flood of minerals in my blood, thickening it, making me feel heavy, weighed down. It’s the vitamin A—the article on the internet said too much vitamin A causes cancer, and now I’m riddled with tumors.
After the eggs, vitamins, and green tea, I felt a little calmer than yesterday. For a while, I zoned out and didn’t even bother paying attention to how my mood correlated to vitamin intake. Halfway through writing the article, “Cat President,” I speculated whether this topic was legitimate or whether it only seemed legitimate because of a possible unwitting downward spiral into psychosis. In the bathroom, I found myself making an inordinately high number of faces in the mirror as if a photographer in the mirror were demanding various intense expressions. Feeling energized, but not stressed.
I picture the vitamins soaking into my bones, prying open stiff cracking apertures in my intestines and crawling inside my veins. I would guess nutrients aren’t as much of a shock to my system anymore, like my physiology is adjusting to the introduction of vitamins and minerals rather than pepperoni pizza lean pockets.
I’ve noticed my appetite has waned in the past few days. I cooked a Tombstone brand frozen pizza, then ate three slices, two cupcakes, and popped two vitamins. Those pizza slices and cupcakes kept me relatively sated until nearly 10:30 at night when I ate two more slices and two more cupcakes (granted, the energy required for computer monitor staring and wandering aimlessly through the apartment is relatively low). I considered the possibility of subsisting only on vitamins. Googled “Can I eat only vitamins all day and be fine?” The internet answered, “No, you’d die.” Googled “How many vitamins are too many vitamins.” The internet became confused, squinted, grimaced, and looked around for someone else to talk to. Googled “Can I OD on vitamins?”
The internet showed me a Yahoo Answers page for someone who said, “i love these vitamins they taste sooo good but im afraid i might die from eating too many,…”.
The top answer was: “Yes you certainly can, indeed there has been much more concern recently about the problems this can cause. There is also increasing acceptance that very few people get any tangible benefit from vitamin supplements. It has always been appreciated that the fat-soluble vitamins are more toxic than the water soluble ones as they are more difficult to excrete and thus tend to accumulate. Vitamin A is toxic to the retina, vitamin D to the kidney and vitamin E excess causes a rise in all cause mortality.”
Nevertheless, I’ll finish off this jar of vitamins and see how I feel at the end of the month. Why can’t being healthy be as simple as taking a couple pills everyday? Goddammit, I hate vegetables.