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Raw nerves left me on the edge,
but I long ago learned how to relax, and skillfully
skirted the edge of my cavernous conundrum.

I had not slept for hours; I did not want my ears
shattered by the chimes of the alarm clock.
“So why set the alarm?” you ask.  Go ask a dieter
on the day of the semi-annual physical.

It is time to set off on my semi-annual run. I have
two hours to lose the ten pounds I promised.
Somewhere along the line I know I lost them.
It’s just that I found twenty more on the way.
I’d put them back, but forgot where they came from.

I trot my way down the three flights of stairs.
Calories burned! Even though there are only two
steps per flight.  I must have burned off 1/2 pound
by now – and it has only taken thirty minutes. The radio
tells me scattered thunder storms are predicted.  Perhaps
instead of the half-marathon, I’ll run back up the stairs.

Convinced I’ve met my goal, with the sweat pouring
off my brow (and elsewhere), I run to the bathroom –
a shower is what is called for.  A hot shower, hot.
Certain to melt even more of me away.  I wait until
after the shower to cast a look in the mirror.  Best time.
Through the mist, my naked reflection shows only curves,
No bulges or large-curd lumps of cottage cheese.

Stupidly, I had turned on the damn ventilator fan,
the mist clears and my reflection is more than cottage cheese.
My tattered bath towel hides nothing – especially the fries
(curly with cheese and chili!) and the half-pounder burger with
extra cheese, washed down with the “Vast-o-Cal” chocolate shake.
I knew this couldn’t be good for me, so I bought some celery
on the way home. Of course you know how it goes.  After eating
green, stringy, celery straw, I had to eat both the 2/$1 fried apple pies.

I call a friend for much-needed support.  A good friend to have.
He’s the one who calibrates the scales at all the area medical offices.
“Do me a favor, will ya hon? Make your first stop this morning at
Dr. Mark De Sade’s office.  I’m due there in an hour. Ratchet his scales
down forty pounds. I don’t like breaking my promises. I did promise to
drop ten.  When he reads I’ve dropped thirty, he might think he needs
new glasses when he sees me, but the scale – there’s no denying
the truth.  Wonder how much weight I can lose over the next six months?”