Fear of Thinness

The plumbago stand outside my Mediterranean-style villa in South Florida

I am seeing my doctor tomorrow (Tuesday) at 9am.  Last time he saw me, I weighed 30 lbs more than I do today.  That was in February.

He wanted to put me on statins, explaining to me that I was on the verge of being a Type 2 diabetic.

I declined.

I kept my honor.

I said to him I will lose the necessary weight on my own.

And so I did.

Now I may never be fat again.

I told this story to Don Corleone recently, when I was having a lot of trouble getting below 260 lbs.

He seemed quite offended.

He said, why didn’t you come to me first?

Why did you go to this pezzonovante doctor instead?

This is not how you show respect.

Tears started flowing down from my eyes, yet Don Corleone continued, mercilessly.

Why didn’t you come to Palermo, and go on a Mediterranean diet?

Why didn’t you visit San Vito Lo Capo for the cous cous festival, and experience again the multiculural heritage you grew up with?

You came to America to make your a-fortune and escape from the pharaohs.

Good work came your way in New York, and there were police to protect you.

You didn’t think you needed someone like me.

But then you grew older.

And one day, just like that, you were fired — like an animal.

The good jobs now were all gone; you were too old for anyone to hire you.

So you wandered the streets, like a fool, as people turned their backs on you, and urchins laughed at your sorrows tauntingly.

And still you didn’t come to me.

You became fat and careless.

Women can get fat and careless.

But a man is not a man if he lets himself go, like some pathetic weakling.

I said:  Godfather, What can I do?  I will do anything, just give me justice!

Don Corleone looked at me, and after a long pause, said:  and what is that?

I got up, walked around his great mahogany desk, bent down, and wispered in his ear: please remove my fear of thinness, Don Corleone, I beg of you.

That I cannot do, said the Don.

If you had come to me first, perhaps all this fatso business would never have a happened, and those extra calories would never have made your stomach look like a pregnant cow’s.

The room was unbearably quiet for a moment.

But I will tell you this, said the Don — I will say it only once, so don’t forget it.

Whichever little voice of insecurity or self pity comes to you first, that is the traitor.

I looked at Don Corleone, and could feel hope seeping back into my bones.

Remember who you once were, he said.

And know that you can be him again.

Don Corleone looked at me, and smiled.

There is still enough time, he said, enough time for you to face your fears and do whatever a man must do to finally confront the demons in his soul.

It’s strictly business.

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