EAT THEM, I DON’T KNOW: John Mayer’s Guide to Foraging, by Courtney Maum

Ok, so: Rooibos, bitches. The world thought I was going to get married and have children with Katy freaking Perry, when #realitycheck, I was like, blammo—I’m giving up caffeine. 

As it is in my sneaker collection, so it is in my life: no ties that bind. So maybe I had my couch done over in blue velvet for the Mario Sorrenti shoot with Katy in a nightie and her arm around my neck, and yeah, I might have let Don Was convince me to let her do vocals on my latest single, and yeah, “Who You Love” might be me reckoning with the fact that I got kind of heady for a former Christian vocalist whose songs are neon cotton candy pop, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not feeling super right about single. Again. 

I don’t really know why so many people have a psychiatrist when they could have a nutritionist instead. There is nothing like tea preparation to steady the heart and clear my mind. Make no bones about it, when Beowulf told me he was putting me on a caffeine-free regime, I was like, Beowulf, “Paradise Valley” sold like twenty-seven copies, so I am going to need some jolt in my 2014, but from the first sip of this super luscious rooibos, I was like, okay, things are clearer now, like, for example: Katy Perry really needs to quit her stylist.

Do I have a problem with Katy leaving me for the dance floor hit-making king, Diplo? No, dudes, I do not. You might like shaking your $$$ maker to the menacing cacophony of Major Lazer, but let me put a question forth: can Diplo play rhythm and blues on the guitar? Exactly, brah.

So I put out not one but two albums last year and no one cared. I put an engagement ring on Katy’s finger but sort of skipped the proposal and no one cared about that, either. It’s cool, world: while you’ve got your back to me, I’ll just be sitting here on the teak deck of my Montana ranch while my horticulturist stocks my trout stream, and then I’m gonna catch one, and someone else is going to prepare it for me, like on a plancha or what not, and then I’m going to be super cronked with outsourced Omega 3 so whatever, dorks. 

It’s really not a problem with rooibos by my side. I mean, whoever is making this stuff has to get it to the locals. We’re all jacked up with the dark stuff that makes us doubt ourselves and shake, when instead we could be starting our morning with the dry berry ripeness of “Dry Sauna Roibos”—my personal brew. How can a berry be both ripe and dry? If you were a rooibos tea drinker, your mind would clarify to the point where you would basically be the world and thus you’d already possess the answer to this essential question.

This is my last missive to you peeps at Barrelhouse. My throat nodules are clear now, my digestive track, as well. My acid reflux is all but gone unless I get high and eat Greek yogurt, in which case, it comes back. I no longer feel the need to school you on my personal food pyramid, because I feel like you are in this golden triangle with me, like you’ve helped me build it. And though the steps up the pyramid were too narrow for my feet, I still made the climb. 

It’s a good thing I came up here with my poncho because the summer wind is ceaseless. Friends. Frenemies. Freaks and gonads. Don’t worry about the Mayer. I’ve got my turquoise neckpiece, my memories of the good years, my Stratocaster®, my blockbusting songs. I can pretty much assure you that my heart will go on.


Courtney Maum is the author of the novel, "I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You," forthcoming in June 2014 from Touchstone Books. The humor columnist behind the "Celebrity Book Review" on Electric Literature and an advice columnist for Tin House, she splits her time between the Massachusetts Berkshires and New York City. courtneymaum.tumblr.com Twitter: cmaum