Today, May 29, 2018, the day after Memorial Day, I weigh as much as I have in recorded history. Since our system of weights and measures was standardized. Since the great Depression, the latest recession, and the birth of Impression-ism.
It is a sobering number. I knew, as I stepped upon the scale as I do most mornings, that it would be a depressing number. A skull-rattling number. A “Come to Seize Us” number.
Out of respect for innocent bystanders I will not share it here.
But it is a number – a sign, a throwing of bones, a harbinger – of things to come.
I have one of those electronic, digital scales which gives you an exact number. Each morning I have to thump it to get it started. In the past, with my old mechanical scale, I could claim that the pointer was unclear as to which number it was pointing to, as it wavered between two, nearly equally bad numbers. Or, I could “accidentally” calibrate the scale incorrectly, leaving a more pleasing number at each weigh-in. Too, air currents and temperature can affect accurate measurement.
My scale, a body weight scale (not a kitchen scale, an industrial scale – don’t go there, a balance scale, or a musical scale – which would have to be in a minor key), on the other hand, is precise. It gives a rock solid number measured in pounds and tenths of pounds. There is no escape.
All this is fine rhetoric, but it begs the inquiry – “Whither goest I?” I know where I’m headed on this path, but where am I going? I see a fork in the road (do I pick it up…), and will I take the road least traveled, the one that makes all the difference? Or give up the ghost, succumb to the roast and the toast, the body utmost, and call it a day?
Discipline has always been my nemesis, but I shall take up the gauntlet now. I’ll Dream the Impossible Dream, no matter how hopeless, no matter how far (OK, it’s tilting at windmills). I’ll be there wherever there are hungry people (hungry people is not actually funny, see Henry Fonda as Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath).
Alright, alright, I’m being tongue-in-cheek here.
But the scale is clicking.
*With a tip of the hat to NPR’s wonderful ‘Wait, wait…Don’t Tell Me!
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