Print Story I said to someone, "Now I'm only a large"
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By ObviousTroll (Mon Apr 02, 2018 at 08:16:49 PM EST) (all tags)
I said to someone, "Now I'm only a large" and they responded that that sounded like the beginning of a poem. Well, I'm not a poet, I'm more of an essayist, but let's see what I can do with it.


Now I'm only a large.
 
I don't know what to do with that.
 
I've always been larger than large. Larger, even, than life.
 
I've always been like that. I even come from a family like that. When I was a kid, my dad and his friends were the biggest, strongest guys I'd ever seen - ever even heard of - playing catch with cinder blocks and teaching me things not to repeat around mom.

I was learning to be larger than large.
 
In school I was never a jock, I was certainly never popular, but everyone - everyone - knew my name. My senior year of high school a teacher said to me, "In 10 years no one will remember who this year's class president was - but they'll all remember you!"
 
And it was true. I might have felt like an alien but I had a voice like James Earl Jones and I behaved like Sam Kinison. I was larger than large.
 
It was built into how I saw the world. I did what I wanted. No one stopped me. I went where I wanted. No one bothered me. No one hassled me, interfered with me, or asked me for money.
 
I never had a problem moving through crowds - people just got out of my way, in the way people do, without making it look like they were doing it. A shift of their hip, or a half-step out of the line of my movement, I never even had to break stride.
 
For a long time I wasn't even aware it was happening. My 5-foot-3-105-pounds girlfriend had to explain it to me - "It's not like you're the biggest guy around," she said. "That's part of it, but there's plenty of guys heavier than you, or taller, or both. It's the way you swing your arms," she would say. "You take up so much space around you. I don't think people are afraid of you, but they definitely don't want to get in your way."
 
Christmas shopping? Fourth of July parade? She'd just get behind me and let me clear a path for her.
 
Not anymore.
 
Now I'm only a large.
 
It happened for the best of reasons. I didn't want to drop dead of a heart attack before my kids were grown. So, I stopped eating whole pizzas. I stopped eating triple quarter pounders, entire appetizer trays of nachos, boxes of donuts and two liter bottles of mountain dew.
 
I started eating (shudder) salads.
 
I didn't realize I'd stop being larger than large.
 
I don't know. Maybe it isn't the weight on the scale. Maybe it's just the weight of the years. After all, this isn't the first time I've weighed so little.
 
So, maybe it's the grey hair.
 
Or, maybe I stopped swinging my arms?
 
But maybe it is the weight.
 
I used have to drive to a special shop to get button down shirts that fit my chest and neck or to buy neck ties that were long enough to reach all the way to my belt. Used to have to drive all the way across the city to get a suit that fit.
 
Boy was I glad when "smart casual" came along.
 
I look better in denim and chains than a suit and tie anyway. When I gave a dog-and-pony show you can bet everyone was looking at me and not their laptops.
 
But now the denim doesn't fit and the chains look silly.
 
Either way, nobody does that half step to get out of my way anymore.
 
It's frustrating. Takes me forever to get through a crowd.
 
I'm only a large.
 
I mean, it's not all bad. There are some upsides. Women don't flinch and look worried when I talk to them. I don't have to worry about breaking toilets when I sit on them.
 
But... my closet is full of clothes that I can't wear and they all tell me the same thing.

Now I'm only a large.
 
I don't know what to do with that.
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