Strangely Normal


“Put what in my drink?”

I’m looking at the lanky woman behind the counter with that deer in headlights expression.

“’Cuz it sounded like you just said lizard tale and deer antlers,” I say.

“I did,” she chirps, and a rapid smile slides across her face like living room doors that lead to the patio.

“Um…” I scratch my head and look around at all the other health-savvy patrons slurping down the assumed. They sit next to me at this bar of healthy Chinese special remedies; some lurk behind peering up the long list hung on the wall of eclectic smoothie options, deciding their fate.

“Why not?” The woman smiles with a thought behind her eyes: You’ll be happy you did this.

I watch her closely just to make sure she doesn’t put anything like rat eyes or pig tongue in my drink — not that I see it listed here, but you never can be too sure at a place like this, and I’m definitely not ready for that… at all.

She blends and stirs and pours and suddenly I’m holding a dark green beverage. I feel like everyone’s watching me, but it’s probably in my head; that kind of concern usually always is.

“Bottoms up,” I say to myself, unconcerned that I’m not only drinking lizard tale and deer antlers, but now also talking to myself. I might be going crazy.

I sip. And wait for something horrible to happen. Little red ants, the kind that bite, may suddenly appear deep within this green liquid and eat my face off.

But nothing happens.

It’s not bad. I may even go as far as saying this drink of unthinkable concoctions is… good?

I’m only in this place because I have candidiasis (a fancy word for problems with yeast) and my homeopathic doctor has recommended that I buy things like quinoa, amaranth and maca instead of bread, yeast, flour. And this drink comes highly recommended.

“So what does it do, exactly?” I ask, quite curiously as I stare at the ten dollar price tag.

The tall woman speaks calmly with her string bean limbs and explains, “These are ancient Chinese remedies that help people with energy and cleansing their inner eco-systems of all impurities.”

I sip.

“Feel energized?” She asks.

I think. I want to answer truthfully. It hasn’t been that long, surely not long enough to feel any different.

I sip again.

“No, sorry.”

Her brow frowns into a nice bridge and she exhales, thinking,

“Give it another minute.”

The woman in a jogging outfit behind me (who I find out also has my exact same health problem) is ordering my drink (the nerve!). She assures me, that although tough, this new way of eating will starve out the candida and I’ll get better.

After paying the ten bucks for a small sized smoothie of animal limbs, I walk to my car and notice something…

I feel like I can run a marathon.

Alice can be reached at

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Tales of a Toluca Lake Actress

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