Monday, March 5, 2012

Weight Loss Terrorists: The First Three Pages

Anne began her day like she began most days. A couple of pancakes. She enjoyed cooking them, it was a therapeutic process. A stack of French toast, using the recipe her Nana gave her just before she passed away.

She prepared a little cinnamon on a grapefruit, cause she was a firm believer in tradition. "Four parts of the pig", her nickname for the collected group of ham, bacon, pork chop, and sausage she served for herself was delicately eaten.

And to conclude it, she ended with two pairs of eggs: one scrambled, the other over easy. She hated choosing as a child, so she figured she had both.

She remembered watching distant acquaintances on their weight loss plans, diets, and workout regimens suffer from heart attacks, car accidents, and other bizarre acts of God knowing that they did not indulge in the culinary world they were surrounded in. "I could die tomorrow" she always thought.

Sometimes people would say this to her as a cloaked way to tell her to stop eating, but she decided that she was going to go out buffet style. "Every calorie brings me closer to Jesus" her Nana would say. Of course, Nana got her wish, passing away at the age of 61 from the complications of several health factors.

If her family sued the food industry, they could point their finger at the tobacco industry, which would pass the buck to the wine industry. And they would all have a point.

Anne was always complemented on her ability to keep her figure and diet in her youth. She thought it would last forever, rationalizing this by saying it was the one thing she had in the world to make up for her shortcomings, the thing that made her unique. However, after her first daughter, things did not go the way they always had.

She had changed mentally, and so had her body.

She pushed against the need to exercise, pointing to the ever wonderful hip-hop culture and their desire for larger "cabooses" as a way of telling herself that her body was merely "forming to the times".

Anne continued this "milf-licious" motif until she one day found herself ripping a pair of pants with the words "juicy" stitched on the backside. Sometimes, tragedy is the only wake-up call. Yet, it was something she always talked about and never did. She ended up, giving the last excuse she would use in a lifetime of excuses: her husband still loved her. And he did.

After the two hour extravaganza which she called "daily breakfast" had ended, Anne got a phone call from her husband's boss. Stephen didn't show up for work today. Anne told them that she thought it was odd, but maybe traffic had something to do with it. She would give her husband a call, despite the fact that her boss already did that, and see what was up.

A dial of buttons led to automated voices and misplaced calls. What was going on? Anne pondered several fictitious scenarios (most tended to drift to sewer mole people) and she couldn't figure it out. Then she wondered, "what if it was an affair?"

The question of adultery was never really something that crossed Anne's mind throughout the entire span of their marriage. The main reason of course, was that Stephen was too afraid of rejection. Anne spent a good deal of time getting Stephen out of his shell in the early days of their relationship, spelling things out and what not. It wasn't impossible that he could be cheating, but it just felt unlikely.

Then again, Anne looked over the slaughtered remains of her complete breakfast and it occurred to her that maybe something could have happened. Desire, guilt, hardship, desire. It was how she recalled her emotions, and often times, she dealt with hardship by desiring something. High calorie somethings.

Anne had asked for a workout machine one Christmas, as a way to tell the world that she cared about herself and was willing to make a commitment for the better. Yet, the kids went back to school and the only workout she got from the machine was when she dusted it off every once in a while.

She had tried it once on a whim, and her children laughed at how awkward she was on the machine. Pretty much killed it for her, until now. Anne laid down on the workout bench in her attempt to pump iron. She had a small grip of the bar until the phone rang.

"Hi, is this Anne Kitts?"
"Mrs. Kitts, I'm afraid to inform you that your husband has been kidnapped"
"Kidnapped? This doesn't make any sense"
"Of course it does. I'm the kidnapper"

It was a distorted autotuned voice. Maybe T-Pain was making a concept album.

"Go to the police station. I'm giving them a hard time, and I will fill you in on what my demands are"

Sometimes the scariest events in our lives make us give the blandest answers.

"Okay" said Anne.

A new set of fictitious scenarios grew in her head. Was this a joke? Maybe it was a kidnapping from a jealous lover she didn't know about. Or an abduction from someone who was angry that they couldn't have him. She didn't want to get started on the mole people.

Anne rushed down to the police station. She found Officer Winter standing behind a desk while on the phone. A journalist tried to shove a tape recorder in his face.

"I'm talking to somebody, I'll do your shit later"

The journalist backed away. Anne approached Officer Winter with a sense of worry.

"Are you Anne Kitts?"
"Did you get a phone call from someone claiming to kidnap your husband?"
"Said they would do that" said Winter.
"What happened to my husband?"
"We found your husband's car on the side of the road. Security footage shows that there was a struggle, and he was seen getting pulled into a van"
"Oh my God"

"We're not sure how many people are involved, whether this was organized or some lone assailant. We are talking with everyone who knew your husband on a professional and personal basis. Anne, do you know if your husband had enemies?"

"No, I don't think so"
"This wasn't some random kidnapping. This was something that was premeditated. This was personal"

Anne tensed up.
"There might be some little college rivalries, but nothing to this extent" she replied.

"Mrs. Kitts, if you can think of anything, anything no matter how insignificant, please tell me. We are doing the best we can to find your husband, but we only have so much of the puzzle"

"I will do my best" said Anne. The odd sense of duty excited her.
"Winter, we have a transcript coming. It's from the kidnappers" said one of the desk clerks.

Winter signaled Anne over. They waltzed to the fax machine where a message came in. They glared at it. Shock with a dash of confusion. Winter checked around. Anne held her face back in disbelief.

"Is this some kind of a sick joke?" Winter asked.
Anne cried. Winter hugged her for support.

"Don't worry about this, we're going to find out what's happening" replied Winter.

The note transcript, written from cut magazine clippings, read like this:

Dear Anne Fat-ass,

I will give you your husband back if you can lose enough of that belly jelly over the next six months. Don't do any funny stuff either. Slice your stomach, I slice his throat.


Your Personal Trainer

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