Site Meter Peculiar Susceptibility: "more weight"

Friday, December 21, 2007

"more weight"

I still remember the first time I read The Crucible. I'm not sure exactly how old I was, but it was at some point before my sister Nora was born (which would make me younger than 10). I was in my new bedroom. The addition my parents had put on the house was unfinished. (It was only recently that they told me, frankly, that they had run out of money before the addition was completed. I, again, to be frank, have no idea how they had money for an addition in the first place, but there you have it.)

The room had that feeling of a space - the hollow of a rectangular prism - empty of experience. Ripe for potential - I suppose it could have been, but to me it felt just blank. And so, it isn't surprising, in retrospect, that I might carry books into such a room as a youngster.

On of the first nights I spent in that room my parents were still participating in the wine tasting group. I was young enough then to lurk about, crawling under the table and kyping dregs from everyone's glasses. Well, after that, I crept back to my new room at the cold end of the house. (My parents' house is heated, primarily, by a woodstove at the opposite end.) I turned on the lights, as yet uncovered by fixtures, I curled up on my mattress (on the floor, then), and I opened an old, musty copy of The Crucible.

And Giles Corey said "more weight." He died slow, that way, in order to preserve property. He could have died fast in the noose, but instead he died a Christian, slow and able to leave the farm to his sons. "More weight."

Pressed like grain.

Made meal of.

When I close my eyes and imagine myself, I still see (watch me measure my own body like some 19th century anthropometrist) the 5'8"/118-pound body I inhabited for so many years. And so, it is with complete alarm that I heard, tonight, my friend Anthony say, "Don't you dare ever - EVER - lose weight."

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