I took the bus to see my mother. She needed help with her computer. It takes a full hour and a half to get to her place, because she lives in the far end of her town. I think it’s a 20 or 25 minute drive by car, traffic depending.
I always bring a snack to eat on the bus: gorp and juice. I water down the juice and bring it in a large bottle. Gorp is very portable. It’s also called trail mix. It’s high in calories and good energy food. I get the kind without chocolate in it.
I sat next to a very large woman. She appeared to weigh over 250 pounds, though I am not a good judge of weight. She was barely five feet tall. She took up a seat and a half. I only needed the remaining half seat. So I sat.
Why did I feel so strange taking my gorp out of my pack and eating it? I didn’t want to eat gorp in front of this large woman. I didn’t want to eat anything in front of her. Why did I have such a prejudiced attitude–I, who criticized others for having biased opinions in my previous entry here at this blog? Was I–in my mind–being cruel to this woman, judging her, making assumptions–what was I assuming, anyway? Was I assuming anything? Was I assuming that I would make her uncomfortable by eating gorp–or anything–in front of her? Was I afraid that she would judge me? Was I thinking she was thinking: “She will get fat if she eats that!” Or–“Look at her, eating that fattening food and not gaining weight!” Maybe, on the other hand, she was lost in thought and would hardly have noticed I was eating anything at all.
The large woman got off the bus at the mall and I never saw her again.
Then, I ate my gorp and drank my juice. People got on. No one chose to sit next to a skinny girl eating gorp and drinking juice. Their choice.
I arrived at my mother’s exactly on time. She offered me food. I turned her down, saying I had just ate. The truth. I went straight to her computer, installed Flash, which took ten seconds, and figured out what has been baffling her: she clicks on something in her e-mail, and a new Firefox tab opens. Once the new tab opens, she no longer sees her e-mail on the screen. She thinks her e-mail has disappeared, and that she can no longer get into it. This has been baffling her for at least a year. I explained to her the basics of Firefox, that you can click on the tab and bring its contents to the forefront. I explained how to x out a tab, and how to click on the plus sign to bring up a new, blank tab. I demonstrated. I said, “Next time your e-mail seems to disappear, do THIS (I demonstrated) and it will come back.” I am instantly a miracle worker.
As I was leaving, my mother commented on my weight. She said something about my tiny waistline. It wouldn’t have hurt except for the fact that she was so specific. Not for long, I thought. I am waiting for her next comment: “You’ve gotten rotund!” Trust me, even if I’m still skinny next time I see her, she will say it.
Back on the bus. The ride home. I was hungry. I am always hungry. I ate my second dose of gorp. I have gained four and a half pounds in three weeks. I brushed my hair aside, and in so doing, I noticed my cheek had more flesh on it than it had three weeks ago.
As I write this, I feel my cheek again. No kidding. This is not my imagination. I must indeed be a miracle worker.