memorial to my larger self

every memorial day i get the urge to look at the scale and long for what was…

…and, yes, there’s a history here.

back in 2003 i was thirty-one years old and 275lbs and working a hip hop show with a promoter that kids these days would refer to as “sus af”. it was the only show i ever worked in the shiny new “palmer events center” and it had some generic title like “hip hop explosion” because if you call your show that it can be any musical act you want. the second you call it, say, “hip hop explosion featuring fat joe” then fat joe HAS to perform or people can demand their money back because he’s on the ticket face. but if there’s no artist name, then as long as SOMEONE performs hip hop (explosions optional) then no refund technically is due.

this promoter kept coming out and changing both set times (which he thought to post even though you really don’t have to) and artist names as various bigger names were “unable to make it due to prior commitments” which i suspect was due to said prior commitments actually paying them as compared to this idiot. when the rumor started that the headliner, which was indeed listed on the sheet as “fat joe”, would probably not be there, he rented a limo over the phone and had it pull up in front of the venue with puerto rican flags flying in the front like diplomats had arrived because fat joe is a) puerto rican and b) notoriously afraid of flying to he drives everywhere. as he wanted to call where nobody could hear him he ducked into the quiet of the BOX OFFICE to order the limo so i knew what was going down…or, more accurately, wasn’t.

i waited till he left and called the boss. here was my concern – if the people in attendance, which was only a couple hundred in a venue that held thousands, wanted their money back they would have a right to it. and i didn’t have enough cash on hand to refund the crowd, even as small as it was, and most of the sales were done in cash (which was more standard for that kind of crowd at the time). we got authorization to bail “once the show started”, so i waited till he got the first act on stage (three HOURS after official “start” time), and met him on the side of the stage with his check and a brick of pre-printed tickets he could sell at the door “to cut us out of the mix and maximize his profits” which was what he wanted to hear, and we split. since we were both hungry we headed a bit up south first to el mercado.

the gentleman i was working with neglected to tell me that he used to work there AND was still friends with a bunch of the staff, but it became quickly apparent as we sat down at the front counter. what i also didn’t know was my order, three cheese enchiladas ala carte, was his standard as well, but he said he wasn’t hungry. the kitchen staff, however, had peaked out and seen him at the front counter and, wanting to prank him, stuffed MY enchiladas with habanero peppers and came rushing out as they saw me take the first bite, which needless to say lit my mouth the fuck UP.

they could not have been more apologetic and i started spitting out the contents, and the manager comped all my drinks and food. for some reason that triggered me that maybe it was time to take on this dieting thing for real and starting the next day i began atkins, weighing in at 275lbs on memorial day, and 217lbs on labor day. soon after the girl i was seeing bailed me for a heavier guy (true – they’re still married with three cherub-looking kids) and i ended up having an adventurous fall that saw me drinking with several celebrities, ending up unemployed, and working for dell when all was said and done…

…and we all know how THAT wrapped up.

i started this bit on the day, for the first time in ten years, i had an official weigh-in under 220. let’s see if i can hit my goal by juneteenth but WITHOUT sacrificing muscle like i did when i dropped to 207 for my 40th.

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