Friday, March 10, 2006

To Feel That Good One More Day

My wife insists I stare. As a writer, I prefer to think I “observe.” Therefore, I find myself at my local java house “observing” a young man as he prepares coffee. He attracts my attention due to his size. He is large. He is extremely large. I would wager my non-fat latte that he carries far north of 400 pounds.

Our eyes meet before I can avert my gaze. Whether it is the obesity from my own past, or that we really do communicate through the pupils - I cannot say. Yet at that instant, a tsunami of sadness slams into my soul.

A flood of yesterdays: Remembering when - embarrassed by my sheer mass - I wished no one would look at me. I hid while eating, not wanting others to know; a sulking overweight shadow of the dark places, all the while hauling shame and anger. Do others hide when they eat? Why must I apologize for my need to survive?

A consuming, heavy, dark, depression relentlessly pressed against my core - never resting, constantly gnawing, and stalking me through the nights. Whatever I did, wherever I went, I was its prisoner – unwilling or unable to change.

I am not so arrogant to assume that the coffee-sipping gentleman downtown feels what I felt or shares my experiences. I do not judge waist size, for I was sentenced too often.

The plain truth is in his eyes, all I saw was Me.

On cranky days, I still beg the Universe for a reprieve. “It’s unfair I can’t just eat what I want! I’ve been good. When do I get to relax?” There are nights when every ounce of strength I possess is applied to stay focused on my goal.

More than ten years have left since I reached “goal;” this pain surprises me, residing still so near the surface. I am not a better man due to my thinner physique. However, I am happier because another sunrise has passed to sunset and I held my old demons at bay one more day.

To hold that feeling in my heart a little longer, I shall continue.

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