Oh, Life is not worth living.  Full of horror and death.  Struggle and degradation.  Pestilence.  

Why bother, my brothers and sisters.  Why bother.

Oh, how I am suffering!  

The weight is back and back with a vengeance.  

Why have I allowed this to happen?

Yes, the racing season is over.   Did it ever exist?  Was it but a dream?   

A return of the old self: a knock at the door and there it was, a package nicely wrapped and full of the former me, bleeding and in need. Waiting for me to slip the slimy skin over my shoulders, cover my arms out to the fingers; instructing me to lift the flowing folds and embrace the swollen weight.  I see!  How lovely!

I remembered how warm it felt – once again: my flesh, full of excess skin, just in time for the holidays to fill in, with just enough creases to accommodate the caloric creations and the festive, over-eaten feasts; with pockets a plenty for the wine and the alcohol so sublime – caught so completely in the hallway mirror: a return of an old terror: the under-performing, non-exercising, ridiculousness of me.

Oh, my brothers and sisters, why have I fallen like this?

Now, just when I need all of my personas to fight for me, they have all but disappeared; that is, except for my one, true friend, the Pudge Man.  He never leaves and is back beside me, once again.

It was like I was asleep, visited by the Ghost of Christmas Past.  I awoke and there was Jolly Old Pudge in a royal-red cloak that extended down to his knees, sitting next to me, mumbling, “Awake at last.  I have something for you to see.”  

Together, we flew out of my bedroom window and visited vivid moments of my woeful life; Jolly Old Pudge showing me sights I had not seen in years: the weight carried over sixty holidays and on many more Christmases than I care to share.  I saw a young man, slovenly eating endless plates of festivities; sloth-like and drunk, slumped over on the couch; or snoring loudly and slobbering into my over-stuffed chair.  The sights of what I saw and had done to myself sickened me and saddened me too.

Oh, such memories I never wanted to see.

Jolly Old Pudge kindly, mercifully, returned me to my room.  

Shaken and alone, I soon fell back into a fitful slumber, until, feeling a tug at my toes, I awoke, thinking my cat, sleeping at the foot of the bed, one more time wanted fed, only to discover, in opening my eyes, she had grown to the size of a cougar.  She stretched low before me, and, with her black paw, invited me to straddle her back; together we leaped out the window for my second time that night.  

Running through the streets of my current life, I caught glimpses of dinning rooms and kitchens and my friends and me preparing our holiday parties: we are reveling in our weight, adding soothing sticks of butter to our meals, shaking gallons of salt into our mouth-watering monstrosities, and continuously pouring cups of sugar into our three-layer concoctions, and it was all so unnecessary; clogging our hearts and sapping our strength, and not just for the holidays but daily, endlessly, yet laughing for the world to see: come Monday we would be better, or, maybe, in January…

I awoke in a sweat but was still asleep; my wife quiet beside me, breathing deeply, but something in the room was moving toward me.  A shrouded figure of what was to be, the Angel of Death leading me to my fate and the local cemetery.       

Oh, woe is me.  The newly dug grave before me is mine.  On my knees, I see the tombstone date only a year or two from now, and the ground is fresh and smells of fat, clogged arteries, and death.

“Oh, Angel of Debauchery, this can’t be.  Not me.  Not so soon.” 

“–You look tired,” my wife says, moving about the room, heading down the stairs. 

I follow her into our kitchen; it is mid-morning here, but the sun remains hidden behind a mournful mixture of winter and waffles.

“What a dream last night,” I say, feeling awful, rubbing my clogged head.  “A Dicken’s nightmare to be sure.  Gosh, no more pudding before bed!”

“Of course, cutting the bottle of wine, next time, couldn’t hurt.”

“Here, I know what will make you feel better: try these cinnamon buns with gooey vanilla icing. They’re fresh out of the oven and smell so enticing, don’t you think?”

Oh, I sing the sad ballad of the bulging body; a dire dirge with muffled muffins and muted, cream-filled donuts; I don’t know why or how it has come to this. 

God must be an insatiable vampire, or a cannibal feeling the fullness of the flesh in anticipation of the appointed hour.

“Hey, the gift fits fine, no problem, and looks sweet!  Let me tie it off around my neck, check the mirror, add some rouge to my pudgy cheeks – there, this time, good for weeks.  What’s next, my friends, what’s next?”

Oh, no, my ride has arrived: the long, lone limo, sleek and black as night, the silky interior, plush and silvery white, the dark-suited driver beckoning me inside.  

Tell my wife, don’t wait up or stay awake.  I’m off to a supper of the choicest steak, a flask of burgundy wine, and for a final time: a slow parade of the sordid sights!  

Oh, woe, woe is me.

Brothers and sisters, we’ve got to get it right.

Send back the gift.  Lock the door.  Turn off the outside lights. 


Categories: Prose Poetry, Pudgy Me

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