I am talking chocolate. I am talking the very darkest of the dark, the kind that is slow to release its sweetness and leaves you with an aftertaste of bitterness, wanting more. The one who said that sex is just a substitute for good chocolate may have been joking but those of us initiated into its compelling embrace laugh darkly.
This kind of pleasure must have a sting in its tail. In my case it’s migraine – what I get if I have too much or sometimes even if I have any at all. I can eat as much milk chocolate as I like and nothing happens except that I get fatter, but eating it is like kissing a mere mortal after Zeus. I have adapted. I have made compromises. It compels me still, whispers to me in words only I can understand, and I have the occasional mouthful.
Now I am told that eating 45g of it every day is good for people with M.E. There have been clinical trials at Hull Royal Infirmary that have produced “exciting results.”
I am like a lifer who is occasionally confronted with the promise of parole, the hope of which waxes like the moon, and wanes like it too. I have done alternative therapies, dietary regimes, acupuncture, drugs, supplements, crystals and, yes, Affirmations. I have done it all. And now they are telling me to eat chocolate.
They are not promising a cure. What they say is that the results are significant. People feel better and stronger when they eat the chocolate than when given a placebo. Hardened old-timer though I am, I cannot help but lift my head a little. We are not talking Cadbury’s Bournville here, we are talking a specially formulated 85% cocoa product: in other words, a real head-banger. Well - pink Migraleve has always been my friend. I am tempted.
Suddenly it doesn’t seem sexy any more. It seems like a potentially beneficial medicine. Something lost, something gained. I could cope with that.