I Was a Fat Boy for a Short Time.

It began in the 4th grade when I left my dad for Iowa because of my mom’s divorce–my brother got mean, and I became reclusive, and eating was my past time; I would even eat whatever was in the refrigerator–so what? Well, pickles, old fries, heads of lettuce with lots of expensive dressing, candy, imitation crab salad, the list goes on. I became bad summers when there was nothing to do except read or watch TV. I gained 30 lbs. a lot for a 12-year old boy. In my sophomore year, the first year of high school, and I dropped 35 lbs. in one year. I had discovered girls, and in my Junior year, I found a High School girl-friend, and I wanted to do stuff–after the first kiss, it was smooth sailing, my first kiss of the girl, boy ever. She was thin, almost sickly, but pretty. She was experienced and I was not. But, on her front porch one night, well these stories go on. That was in 1967, and then college in 1969. I left her and floundered in college always thinking about her. The young women I fell for after showed weight gain, the exact opposite, a little over, say 15 or 20 lbs, and then I got emotionally sick after college. There were four years of therapy, as many hospitalizations, a wrong diagnosis, leaving for grad school in which I had to prove myself the first semester to be admitted, and in the second year, a young woman who was to become my wife. Soon we moved in together, and in 1982, we were married the same year I graduated with two advanced degrees. I worked for three months as an instructor at the university, then took my second job and continued to drink heavily. The first six months of our marriage, she warned me that if I continued to drink there would be no marriage, and she too show4ed some weight gain. I began to gain beer weight, and after five semesters of teaching in Nebraska, we took off for Colorado, and the Rocky Mountains, me in a doctorate, her in a doctorate. She left hers first to take a job she’d held before as Claims Rep for the Social Security Administration, and I was gaining more beer weight, drinking all the time, offered a change to an MA because they claimed I couldn’t cut it. Soon I left that school to drive twenty miles daily to Ft. Collins and attend Colorado State in the MA creative writing. I was drinking daily and pulling A s, maintained a 4.0, and lost my TA the second semester, took a light load as the MA became an MFA, and I entered my final degree program, sober but overweight. Eventually came finishing the MFA, a move to Illinois for another teaching job, and a final warning not to discuss my personal situations. We had a baby girl, and the move was tough. I maintained thirty lbs overweight.; I lost the teaching job, we left for my wife’s home state, and I began moves to part-time teaching. Eventually, I began work in fast-food restaurants and gained more and more weight. In my checkered teaching past were more than 15 schools and an eventual relegation to no teaching including a summer at Navajo Community College while my wife completed her MA thesis about drink Navajo men and Navajo wives who dealt with sometimes intolerable situations. My great, good, gracious, and fine, excellent brilliant wife had begun a career at the VA where she succeeded before she retired at the top of non-management job scale, and I quit all teaching at age 58. I was about 80 lbs overweight and gaining, but I did not drink. Finally, my doctor told me that I’d better lose weight or else. He scared me into pushing the food away, and I lost 65 lbs in six months. My therapist warned me that I’d better not lose anymore, so I stopped about 15 lbs overweight. In the course of the next seven years came three times of near-death experiences, growing up late, maintaining weight first about fifteen lbs below normal, then gaining back some losing some, and settling at about 15 lbs above normal with two titanium knees, disability of 19 years, a pacemaker, damaged kidneys, lungs, and heart, and finally chronic pain from Ankylosing Spondylitis. Yet, at age3 66, I’m satisfied with an exercise program, and I’m losing weight again. One knows when age comes on, skin sags, and cataract surgery gives back unbelievably good eyesight. I know, according to my doctor, that I’ll probably live into my 80 s, and I’ve kicked my destructive habits of drinking, smoking, overspending, and overeating. At 66 I’m happy, I’ve been married 36 years, with her more than 38 years, and my final leap, giving her space, and dealing with my anger, the anger my most destructive single most difficult behavior to deal with, and after losing weight, maybe, just maybe, I can leave the 11, 13, 14 year-old-boy behind, and become a responsible man leaving my daughter in the loving and inspirational friendship with my wife as my daughter, after earning an MFA in Japanese and Asian translation, and now pursuing her doctorate in Japanese literature/comp lit, following in the footsteps of dad and mom, loving me from a distance which I deserve. With maybe, just maybe gaining ground on that most destructive eating force, anger. Leaving mom some space, I exercise, eat better, use my camera as the creative tool adding to more than 61,000 digital images taking pictures every week, and writing for my third self-published book. This is where elgwyn gets off, and God takes control. I have finally after more than 31 yrs claiming some kind of Higher Power, come to stand in awe of Jesus Christ embracing my heritage, loving my family, embracing my 88-year-old father in every way I can from South Dakota to California. I believe God loves me and will keep me beyond the End.

Published by elgwyn

I was a University and college writing teacher, now retired, so I write poetry, and essays, mostly free verse poetry. I love writing. Computers, tablets, and smart phones are the norm. When one sees university campuses with students looking at phones while walking to class, one realizes writing can be blogging. I am an ordinary man writing for artistic pleasure writing, and simple taste-- blogs are an answer to high priced self-publishing. Walt Whitman had to print his paper books himself, because in 1855, and 1860 poetry did not sell. It does not sell now unless you have a Pulitzer Prize and even then the poet usually makes a living in other ways than writing. In all ages there have been writers writing out of their own needs, and blogs are an answer to get rid of high cost of self creativity. I am an older man with fewer computer skills than my daughter who has been at computers since she was three, so here I can satisfy my need to write without spending too much on self-published books. All three blogs let me reach an audience missed by books and stand a better chance to reach a wider audience. My two books, Winter from Spring, Meditations on Gratitude, as Kindle books and paperbacks did not reach as many people as I wanted, and blogs can let me avoid the printer. Layout and design is expensive. For me writing is more like the charcoal jottings of preexisting civilization made only for posterity. Blogs face two problems as I see it. They might be submerged into a chaos of too much writing, and they depend on electronic storage. Yet, how's that different from electronic books which must have specialized publication? Paper disintegrates, blogs can be physically stored and organized for posterity in data banks. All organization becomes chaos at some point, but charcoal images on cave walls still exist after the author scribbled eons ago. So what if I reach only a few interested people, but hopefully, readers will reach out to me. Writing is essential for showing the ways of culture before history knows those ways. To record each individual is essential especial for billions of people who need to know enough reading beyond pictures to save a planet. Writing without profit isn't new to me. I'm not seeking to impress the audience. Poetry in general never sells, and personal confessional, and emotional writing exists sometimes like journal writings only for the author. At least here is my hope for wider audiences. My writing is personal and informal, but my writing expresses some serious ideas like the writing of contemporary writers to rise above chaos in my own simple way, above self-absorption, a meditation, the simple writing of an ordinary man. I hope to find my own way out of my own chaos and make my record stand alone if even in electrons. Though I hope never to express nightmare in my poetry, fiction, or essays, some serious considerations are important to me after centuries of mechanized nightmare. The next decade is probably of the same failure in our world. This decade looks to be another time of diminished individuals and the next as well. We all wish peace and hope will become normal. It looks like if hope reaches each individual, not governments there is satisfaction in making means of writing available to many. My hope is for each human being to give their own expression out of the abyss. If humankind is to survive in any common way, we must each be able to express maturity and take responsibility in something beyond self. Electronic media offers people these possibilities so long as computers can store individual lives. Here people can freely see what I write and what others write. Though I hold an MFA in creative writing my simple vision never found a wide audience. I was disappointed about this earlier in my life, but now it's just what one expects of such degrees. I found happiness in family and especially in love of my wife and daughter. Writing can be more than a pastime now that I'm older. I approach seven decades living with some disappointing times, and some satisfying times. I'm like most people, and I've been married more than 37 years, and we sent a successful daughter into the world. We happily live in a country where even the poorest have food. Often as a young man when I traveled for nearly one year through Europe, where does a culture begin to feed and house so many people, and how do all these people live in harmony since World War II? Maybe it's been a question of survival. Writers can hold a little corner with blogging, blogging for harmony and peace. This is my hope. This is my question.

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