Making sense

Anne Lamott, on writing ...

"We are a species that needs and wants to understand who we are. Sheep lice do not seem to share this longing, which is one reason why they write so little. But we do. We have so much we want to say and figure out.”

Monday, May 26, 2008

Too many ribs ...

,I have gained upwards of three pounds these last few days; a new fat roll has surfaced.
I blame it on the ribs. And the barbecued chicken and potato salad and beans and slaw and all the accompaniments to a Kansas City cookout.
Holyfrijoles I am a pig. Guess "you are what you eat" rings true.
Basically I've eaten the world this entire month. Memories of this time last year have surfaced and I've turned to the fridge. Last May I was taking care of the parentals, watching one wither away to cancer (stupid cancer); the other in intensive care with a multitude of coronary/pulmonary difficulties.
Mom lived; Dad didn't.
This time last year he was still sitting in his brown corduroy chair. I was feeding him pancakes dripping in butter and full-calorie syrup. Half a pound of bacon each morning. Orange juice. Five pills on his tray. "Let me break this one into two pieces, Dad," I'd say, picking up the Vicodin tablet, heavy between my thumb and forefinger.
I hate cancer. Stupid cancer.
One day, last May, maybe mid-month, I took Dad his morning coffee, only to notice (like a blaring neon sign: "I've changed! Look at me! I've changed!) a different dad sitting in the brown corduroy chair. A slighter man. Overnight, the muscles in his forearms had vanished. And that little hunk of muscle that only guys have, that half dollar sized chunk of meat above the kneebone, that had left in the night, too. Dad's bermuda shorts showcased the absence.
Stupid cancer.
The anniversary of his death approaches, and while I await it, I have eaten the world.
Salty or sweet, no matter. I've consumed it. Gumdrops, licorice, Cheetohs (what kind of a grown woman binges on Cheetohs?). Potato chips. Dip #1, Dip #2, Dip #3. Ice cream. Sorbet. Frappuccinos. That disgusting fake dairy QuikTrip "malt" you mix yourself and then pay the cashier $2.49 to consume.
Stupid cancer.

1 comment:

Bee said...

Oh Kate, I'm so sorry.

Comfort eating doesn't really fix pain, of course, but it does provide a little solace. (And perhaps it reminds us that we are still alive . . . still able to take pleasure in small things?)