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Virgin Birth

I was terribly excited when i was chosen to play Santa in my third grade christmas paegent. To my way of thinking Santa is the star of any third grade christmas paegent and even though i wasn't the one solving the mystery in our little play (because for some reason it required a mystery)how could i not be central? It was Santa, it was Christmas, clearly this role required someone with my gravitas, my je ne c'est quoi, my star power. I was glad the world had finally taken notice.

Delivering this news to my family was something i really couldn't wait to do. My family: my mother and I. That was it. A dead father, a divorced step father had left it just the two of us, binary stars trapped in each others gravity. Occasionally, my mothers gravity being what it was, others were drawn into our orbits. When i was finally discovered, that orbit held a man who my mother was with for quite some time, he wasn't awful, but he wasn't great either. He was the first of two men who would fill my phantom fathers shoes for extended periods of time. Little did they know my mother was all the father i needed and all that i wanted. I don't suppose i made fake fathering easy on them, but i don't suppose it was my job to either. Well this first one had a previous family, and thus i had 2 older "brothers". One of them was particularly heinous and i imagined he enjoyed capturing flies, finding their families and pulling the wings off the daddy fly in front of his children. His particular breed of unpleasantness was Dickensian in its intensity and patience. I can't really blame him his mother was a pinched faced shrew and his father was...totally over that.

So gravity, fake dad, Victorian villain, pinched faced're all caught up. Thus my audience for my, what had to be earth shattering, news was composed of what they call in the biz, a tough room. I was going to be cool though, non-chalant, ironically detached even though i was eight. I was going to deliver this exciting news with the same shock and awe which I would use to declare saturday morning cartoons over and it being time to go outside and play, completely not bothered. The news would clearly be enough to elicit a level of excitement from my family and those other people, that would warm my heart straight through to Valentines day. So through a forkfull of turnips (yup, turnips) i let loose with the story. My family was thrilled. Those other people, not so much. Daniel Quilp himself sat quietly through much of the hoo ha my mother was attempting to orchestrate in support of my newfound fame.

Abandoning cool insouciance for balls-out glee, and in what i recall as one of my earliest memories of my own oddly placed conceit, i shouted "I'm wicked sure they picked me because i'm the best actor!"

Sensing his moment Quilp pounced "no,they picked you to play Santa because you're fat"

Thats my earliest memory of being aware that i was fat. It was fleeting. I continued to live in a kind of blissfull irrational optimisim about my size, for decades really. But that was the first moment i can recall being sentient to the fact that other people saw me as not normal. As not fitting. As fat. And I remember the taste of the turnips in my mouth, but i don't remember a moment after it, not a second. I remember his vile voice saying those words with a kind of concentration and intent reserved for peeling an apple into one long string of peel. I remember how his stupid eyes looked in his stupid glasses as he said it. I remember his shaggy brown hair hanging over his ears like a white trash version of a beegee. I remember the clink as my mom forcibly placed her silverware on her plate. I remember the design on the vinyl table cloth that i looked down at because looking up felt wrong for a fat kid. I remember all these things in acid burned clarity because it was a moment that created a new axis that my life would spin on from there on out.

I wonder sometimes what would have happened if Quilp had choked on his turnips at that moment and not had the air to be so cruel. What alternate universe was spawned? I suspect by now that me-ter-nate has probably just finished the calendar shoot for the "Sexy Authors of Maine" calendar, and he, Robin Mckinley, Stephen King, Richard Bachman and a ressurected-by-cloning Henry Wadsworth Longfellow would all be chilling out in the convertable driving through Acadia National Park smoking killer weed and discussing the deep unquenchable horror that crawls beneath the ocean.

As Tiffany tells us, We will never know what could have been.

In a strange way i was kind of born that day. From there through a wacky series of misadventures i aquired a collection of quirks, eccentricities and pathologies that lead me through my life to now and made me who i am. As a true nerd though, i know i can build it better, faster, stronger. I have the technology.

Being fat, and thats the word i'm going to use, euphamisms (unlike metaphors) drive me bonkers. I'm not generously proportioned because i'm not a 12 man tent. I'm not big boned because i'm not a stegasaurus. I'm a man. I'm a fat man. And as far as you are concerned that had better be o-fucking-kay. Because who i am is more than two thumbs and a collection of adiposal tissue shaped into this guy . Who i am is deeper and wider and filled with more colors that a San Francisco Jazz Funeral on Pride week. As far as the greater world is concerned I am what my bits of star dust blew into, and i'm just as luminous as any of the rest of you. Body Mass Index has no correllation to awesome.

But for me, it has to change. For ME. Because everything i said up there is true,and i don't want to just know that stuff about myself, but FEEL that stuff about myself. I want to see what i can do if my natural charisma (c'mon, you know its true) is allowed to stretch its legs unfetterd by an excess of lipid generated self loathing. I want for me a life i've denied myself because of fear. To do this i must jettison the ballast of my life. I must create a new me, step by step, cell by cell, gestate and give birth to an infant life filled with possibility.

“What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.” -T.S. Elliot

Next issue: Pounds, i don need no stinkin' pounds.


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