lawk'a'mercy this is none of i

I remember a science fiction story I read years ago,  so long ago that it was before I made a point of noticing who wrote it.  So my apologies to whoever you are.

The story was about a man, human, I think, who is the sole survivor of his space ship’s crash on this strange, fairly habitable planet.  The oxygen level is not quite rich enough for him but he finds if he takes deep breaths more frequently he can move and function quite well.  He finds edible food that doesn’t appeal to him but he can digest it and it nourishes him and keeps him alive while he sets about making a home – at least a dwelling of sorts.  The water, too, is strange to his taste, but palatable and though it stings his skin when he washes in it, he feels refreshed and clean after the shower he rigs up.  And so he goes on, keeping busy. (I always wonder how?)  Eventually, after who knows how long, he celebrates something – some achievement he has managed – and he is pleased with the special food and drink he has prepared for himself. He looks forward to enjoying it at his evening meal. He has a shower after his day’s efforts (?) and enjoys scrubbing his very large chest, hugely expanded since he first arrived.  (Deep breathing, get it?) He also enjoys the water sluicing over his carapace.

I guess that was the first time I read that word.  I told you this was years ago.  Carapace is a wonderful word, and ou can use it as a metaphor. Its meaning is very evocative:

carapace |ˈkarəpeɪs| noun: the hard upper shell of a tortoise, crustacean, or arachnid

Evocative, yes.

as I remember it, that was the conclusion of the story, that this person had adapted to the planet he survived on: thinner air,  harsh water, strange-tasting food had changed him.  Carapace, indeed!

My point is, and I do have a point, is that I have been living on a strange planet in my own home, adapting to the demands and deprivations of the Whole30 régime.  I have been very faithful, rigid, in fact, adhering to the rules.  It’s been 26 days now. In another four days I can assess what I have learned and accomplished. I’m sure I haven’t developed a carapace but that’s why I told you the story, because I thought of it.

I wonder if I look any different?