I am fifty years old, and I am fat. Not middle-aged thick, not suck in your gut for pictures. I am Fatty d’Fat Fat, Lord Fatisimo of the Great and Wide Fatties. I am also male, mostly white, mostly Irish by way of the South, and I grew up a non-practicing Episcopalian in the northern suburbs of Los Angeles County. Which makes me both obsolete and redundant. I’m also part Venezuelan, part Catholic, part Jew (how else can I explain my Irish Catholic paternal grandmother’s maiden name : Lowenstein?), and part Mormon.
The Mormon part is of my own doing. I joined the Mormon church when I was 17, and I left the church 13 years later. I say that I am still part Mormon not because of any vestigial beliefs I might be wagging behind me, but because my two sons Hunter and Noah were raised in the church. Hunter’s rejection and Noah’s embrace of the faith are both partly results of my choices. When you are a father, no decision you make can be unmade. I can play music moderately well. I cannot whistle. I sing poorly, but I sing much better than I should because I have tried all my life. I wish I could sing better, but it’s a great pleasure to hear Noah sing so well. Oskar sings too, and while Hunter never sings in front of me, he whistles with a perfect pitch and a gorgeous tone.
I love most sports but I cant play any other than baseball. I did not exercise whatsoever until high school. As a result entropy and resistance to fitness are my natural modes. But however unlikely, I fell in love with bicycles when I was a kid. My first bike was a Peugot 10 speed, something like this :
My Scout troop went on a two day 100 mile ride, and inexplicably, I smoked everyone else in my troop, including the adults. The support truck had to find me and tell me to slow down. Continue reading