Just Thinking Out Loud
By Gary Jaramillo
I don’t look forward to Thanksgiving as much as I did before.
I didn’t use to hurt after eating. When I was younger, my brothers and I would go outside right after eating, and gather a bunch of neighborhood friends and start a street football game before the Dallas Cowboy and Detroit Lions game and really work up a sweat – and then go eat again during the game. But it didn’t hurt!
It hurts now, man!
I don’t eat more than I did then. It’s not like I gorge myself like I did when I was a kid. Pile of Turkey, pile of ham, pile of mashed potatoes and gravy, pile of yams, pile of dressing, pile of cranberries, piles and piles and piles and I could always go outside and play when I was done. Now after I eat maybe a third of what I used to, it’s like there’s a big football game going on in my gut. What happened? My daughter says I just have to face the fact that I’m old now. That hurts!
I wanna run again. I wanna scamper full out toward the mailbox and make a quick cut to the neighbor’s station wagon yelling, “I’m open – I’m open,” and catch the ball right before I slam my body into the wooden fence and yell, “TOUCHDOWN” – then run inside and watch the game.
I really do wanna do that now, right after I have a nap – or two. My nephew pushes me and says, “Hey, Unk, the game’s on?” I roll over on the floor with a couch pillow tucked under my Gobbler chin and say, “Wake me up at half time.”
It’s that stuff in the Turkey. That drug! That’s what it is! That Tryptophan junk! That secret stuff that saps your strength and makes your muscles ache and your stomach gurgle and your eyelids heavy. That’s what it is! Trypthoh – ahhh, who am I kidding? It’s just me…five-feet eight-inches, 220lbs and hovering between age 50 and reeeally old – it is not a good combination when you add a load of everything plus four sodas and three pounds of pumpkin pie. And each and every Thanksgiving I announce to everyone right before dinner is served, “I’m not doing what I did last year – whew!” Everyone nods their head – uh huh – and the next thing I know I’m waking from a Turktatopie coma on the floor in front of the tube all by myself.
The only thing left in the living room is the six o’clock news blaring on the TV and the sounds coming from my pumpkinee cool whipped lips – trying to get up off the floor. Oooh – uhhh – hmmph – arghh.
But this Thanksgiving – I really have to try harder. This Thanksgiving I have diabetes. I don’t have a choice anymore – really! ‘PSYCH!’ Hey, kid – pass the croissants and sour cream – MAN, I LOVE THANKSGIVING! ENJOY EVERYONE!