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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Image of a Man


This not being a letter I was hesitant to place it on this blog, and this is one occasion where I’ve left the name of the subject in the letter. The truth is that going over my old letters has become something of a trial for me, and I’m not making much progress because of that.

I have a backlog of more than a hundred letters that haven’t been placed on this blog and for every one letter I write I intend to place at least three on the net. There are some letters I reject and will not post for one reason or another, but those are in the minority.

This was an assignment for a writing class, a class where the psychotic teacher wouldn’t stop hounding me after it was over. It’s a funny thing about people they will all too often say “My way or the highway,” then come running after you when you hit the street.

Well, the class told me they liked this, but you tell me what you think.

3rd December 2007
Baby fat

I could tell the unmistakable form of Frank from a good distance. He is a big man, bigger then me by a good eighty pounds. I could tell something was wrong with him from his step. It was the unmistakable glide of small steps with its slow movement. As he came closer I could tell that his eyes were barely open. Just black slits on his baby fat face.

“You look like hell, Frank.”

“I’ve got a fever of a hundred and two,” he said without stopping. He just glided past as if it took almost all his energy to walk and it probably did. I’ve said many a time that a man as big as Frank is going to have health problems, and he calls off more often than most, and that says something out here.

I’ve often thought that Frank’s fight with obesity was a result of his rearing. He once told me a story about a time he got hit in the head with the back of an ax. He touched a spot over his eye on his shaved head. “I can still feel it,” he told me as I looked at the place were the ax had struck. He pull back his pinkish brown skin to reveal a cleave in the bone.

“I wasn’t supposed to be up that late so my sister snuck me back in the house. When my mom found out she started beating me. She hit it and broke it open again.” I figure that Frank seeks comfort in food. His mother obviously had to be a violent woman to hit her son as he was bleeding. 

“All right Rich, I’m going home.” I looked up from my thought to see Frank holding his fist out to me. I met it with my own, his hands were ice cold. I was relieved to know that they would not make him work in this condition. “I’m sorry for letting you guys down,” he told me.

“Shit happens, Frank, you get some rest.”