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BERKELEY'S NEWS • JANUARY 17, 2023

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Open letter to cheese from a lactose-intolerant person

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STUART SPIVACK | CREATIVE COMMONS

( Stuart Spivack under CC BY-SA 2.0.)

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JUNE 03, 2021

Dear cheese,

Wow, we’ve been through a lot. I don’t even know where to begin, so I guess I’ll just start from the beginning. As a kid, we were the best of friends, and I honestly couldn’t have imagined life without you. I don’t know where we went wrong, but suddenly, I couldn’t handle you anymore. I became … how should I say it … intolerant. I think our mutual and healthy relationship came crashing to an end when I threw up that pizza after watching “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” for the very first time. It was a wake-up call, I guess; there were so many signs that I chose to ignore. I didn’t want to believe it, but I had been hurting for a long time. I told myself it was gluten, sugar or even the beans that my grandma would force feed me. But I knew deep down we had issues neither of us knew how to resolve. So I left, as you know, hoping to take time to myself to heal. You left me not only heartbroken but also with a self-diagnosis of IBS.

I was good for so many years; I had made a life for myself without you. But it came to a point where I just couldn’t ignore the hole that you left not only in my life but in my heart. You really hurt me — I’m not going to pretend that our relationship was perfect. Everyone told me to leave you, but I stayed. Maybe I stayed too long. You knew what you were doing to me, and I can’t forgive you for that. But I couldn’t stay away. I kept coming back to you, and every time I would, I would tell myself, “OK, enough, no more.” But I always came back. 

Maybe it was the forbiddance of our relationship, but I couldn’t resist you. People would question me, “Are you really going to eat that pizza?” Of course, I denied it, said it doesn’t hurt like it used to, but it was all a lie! It hurt — it hurt so much more than I remembered. 

We had a toxic relationship, and you treated me horribly. Because of you, I have to see a gastroenterologist. She has been helping me — not that you would care. When she tells me to cut you off completely, I tell her she’s crazy, but I know she’s right. That’s why I’ve made the decision to officially cut you out of my life. No more laxatives, no more Lactaid pills. We are over. We had a good run, but I have to end our secret and forbidden relationship. It was toxic, and you know it. Maybe in another life.

Best,

Your lactose-intolerant lover

Contact Paloma Torres at [email protected].
LAST UPDATED

JUNE 03, 2021


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