Melting Ice

Here and gone –
the ice cubes in my glass
on a hot summer day;
hot summer days,
their departure heralded
with fast-moving
that shake free
the last tomatoes,
green and hard,
that ripen,
wrapped in twists
of newspaper,
to a ruddy red,
for the last, best
tomato sandwich
of the year,
juicy, sweet and acidic
– here and gone.


When was “Bigger is Better” replaced by “the one who dies rich and thin wins”?
When was the beauty of Rubenesque bodies replaced by “only babies and Buddha get to be chubby”?

I’m not talking obese.
I’m talking robust.

I’m not talking “run lean.”
I’m talking “run anorexic.”

I think in terms of the messages women receive on TV, in magazines, from email spam. It’s all about the diet pills and the dieting and the Botox and my buttocks.

But men get them too.

When my boss was on vacation I checked his email, and if possible he receives more spam than I do: Viagra, hair plugs, midlife fantasies, midriff exercisers – and failing them male girdles.

I’m not saying I want to be a baby forever, though I have entertained having the wisdom of Buddha.

I can at least aspire to his big belly.

Wasn’t I?

Wasn’t I just thinking we were enjoying a long break in the furball cycle? I mean, with four cats the lulls in throwing up and cleaning up are rare.

And didn’t I just put out the trash, say good night to their fuzzy faces, and climb into bed, only to hear HAUCK HAUCK LAUUUHT — not once, but twice?

Upon turning on all the lights in the living room, didn’t I see the hind end of Skinny Fannie heading behind the couch to throw up for a third time? The 10-pound cat notorious for throwing up 16 times in a single bout?

Facing the inevitable, didn’t I put on my glasses — because more than cleaning it I hate stepping in it — grab the paper towels and jug of Nature’s Miracle, and follow the trail?

Wasn’t it true I didn’t want to wait up to find out if she was finished? And wasn’t I loathe to go to bed, knowing I’d just be up again?

Wasn’t I just thinking it was nice to have a break in the whole cat-gak cycle?

Guess what I’m thinking now.