In defiance of God I am 132 years old, which is largely insignificant in this age of superior Western medicine. What is different is I am lucid, free from all of the various drug cocktails that keep people’s bodies from rotting, or keep them mentally alive enough that they only shit themselves every few days.
I have a secret. Not that it’s all that secretive- because really anyone paying attention at the turn of the last century could have known it: dark chocolate. Not that bitter Special Dark crap, either, I’m talking high percentages of cacao, 70, 80 percent- so much cacao you feel it in your sphincters (yes, all of them).
Cacao in large quantities prevents delirium, Alzheimer’s, and a number of other degenerative brain disorders. Scientists still haven’t figured out why, but I think I understand it.
It was always the progression of the disorders that confused doctors. Sure, there were more elderly patients living longer, and as medical science became more omnipotent, more and more of the, we’ll call them genetically less adapted, were living into their old age, but the numbers still didn’t add up. The increase in mental degeneration was epidemic in proportion.
You had the usual scapegoats attacked in the press, drugs (and their various legalizations), pollution, our increasingly artificial diet and sedentary lifestyle, even accusations that humanity were using our brains too much- straining them to the point that they broke.
It wasn’t until my father’s fish died that I understood. My father was kind enough to leave me his home when he kicked (as much from a refusal to live on anyone else's terms as from the heart failure and emphysema), which saved me my nomad’s existence, squatting in rented apartments because affordable housing was a specter from my childhood. In the back yard he had a pond he dug when I was young, filled with large, beautiful coy. One night young boys snuck into the yard and put soap in it. The soap killed a few of them, but the strong coy survived the long process of partially draining the pond and refilling it.
One night months later, I caught them at it again. They'd put more soap in the pond, an order of magnitude more. One of them moved slowly enough that I caught him; I pushed his head under the water, not long enough to drown, but long enough that he sucked in a lung full of the tainted, soapy water and dying fish sphincter releases before I released him. And in those moments, with him wriggling in my hands and after he’d slipped away, I realized why the chocolate worked- it was all about the concentration.
Our brains were infected with parasites. Lower levels of cacao in the brain only bred stronger parasites, but cacao in high enough levels was toxic. Weaker even than most blood born pathogens, so much so that only an unlucky few spread the disease by any method other than parent to offspring, where compromised sperm created infected ova at conception, or where an infant had nine whole months to gestate inside a poisoned womb.
And they don’t want you to know. Because they don’t want you to save your brain. The brain-dead don’t vote, and the brain-dead don’t spend. Their social security is shoved into savings accounts and accrues until they die- and since it was the government’s money to start it goes back to them when you kick.
Look at the historical record. Every time the government finds itself in financial hardship, a new strain of something nasty, flu more often than not because it can be changed regularly, attacks the elderly, killing scores. I've heard rumors that at the CDC it's macabrely called the harvest.
And no one believes me. I’m the only sane man my age, and no one believes me. They write me off as a lunatic, because they’ve all become too cynical to believe that the world could be saved: with chocolate.