Belly Fat

October 28, 2011

On the way back from taking Henry to try and launch a golf career, I sit in the airplane and look out the window, my hand jammed under the belt line of my jeans.
Why is that belly fat always cold?
That belly was swimming in the salty, warm, turquoise ocean of the Florida Gulf Coast only hours ago. White sand, shells rolling in the gentle tidal motion, one strand of seaweed penetrating a modest one-piece.
The fat, though warmed by my hand, is still better covered in public because it isn’t selling anything (and never could) except against itself in our culture.
Even though the fat means to me that I had two sons whom I love more than anything, a love I try to contain since I know it’s healthier for us all. When I imagine one of them dying I also imagine throwing myself into the coffin just to hold them.
The oldest and I actually had this conversation:
“Mom, you wouldn’t cremate me if I died?”
This as we swam in sheer joy in the turquoise.
I laughed. “I might have to darling, as I’d want some of you near me at all times. I’d need a bit of ash in a locket or something.”
“You can have a finger. The rest I want frozen.” He thinks for a minute. “I’m going to be awfully pissed off when I come back and I have no finger.”
“Yeah,” I say, “there goes the golf career.”
The belly of jelly fat I’d like to shrink, to be like my former self, for continuity of self-image, for power, for resisting time and all urges to taste key lime pie and have cream in my coffee, to be pure and disciplined and better than all the people fatter than me.
And yet . . . fuck that – who wants to try and be better than anyone anymore?
That’s what that jelly fat’s all about. Connection. And my hand warming it as I leave Henry in Florida.