Good Golly Miss Molly, am I fat. Yes, all right, I can hear you who know me out there chiming in helpfully, “But Linus, you were already fat.” That’s not what I mean, thanks. I was on the tubby side, in that East Coast urban could-lose-some-weight hey-who-shrank-my-old-college-clothes? category. I was not lean and mean. I was not sixly packed. The word “lissome” was rarely pointed in my direction, and if it was it wasn’t loaded.
I went by the gym today to see if they were running any specials (they never are running specials when I am ready to join), and I peered in to check the big “Come On and Join” sign. I’m afraid I bent it. Tomorrow when they go back on regular hours all the lithe trim and early folks are going to wonder, “Hey, who bent the gym?” Now you know.
The whole immediate clan was in town, minus only littlest brother Noah, who lives in Europe, and plus little Eli, who at four stately years is the current hope of civilization and darling of all, and Eli’s Dad Bruce, who tolerates us all remarkably well. I whisked a dessert treat from the ashes of careless defeat when it turned out that Sweet Melissa was still taking orders on Tuesday night for their Chocolate Bourbon Pecan pie, which is as delirious as you might think from the name. Sister Hilary concocted the vegetarian portion of the menu — tofurkey, anyone? — and Mom, as always, did the hard hauling.
Hours later the room was littered with scraps from the fray, and the folks came out of the kitchen with a vast balloon of plastic bags and aluminum foil. “This is for you,” said Mom. Inside was half of the turkey. It hardly even fits in my house. Thus: fat.
Last year the brunt of the family was not in town; I was in the middle of the play at La Mama, and on Thanksgiving morning I had a cheery call from Gheree, one of the women in the cast, who was checking up to make sure I had something to do later on. “Uh, no, not really,” I offered, thinking to myself, I’m not a loser, I promise. I’m not not not.
That was my first last-minute adoption for Thanksgiving; an unexpected bit of light and warmth that lifts the holiday out of the reach of the confused culture at large, and puts it down at the hearth, where it’s good to sit with people as winter comes in.