The first thing you should know about me is that I have Parkinson's disease. I've had it for more than ten years now. It affects my walking, my talking, my sleeping, my swallowing, and a variety of other things that you do every second of every day without even thinking about it. This condition is something I will likely reference in almost everything I write.
I do my best to take care of myself. I do the things I'm supposed to do. I try NOT to do the things I'm NOT supposed to do.
And every time I see my neurologist, he harps on me about my weight.
OK. I get it. I'm fat. I've always BEEN fat. I always WILL be fat. Losing weight would make my body easier to move. But I would still freeze in place when I walk. I would still wobble and fall at the slightest provocation.
Don't get me wrong. I exercise. I ride my exercise bike for twenty minutes, three times a week. I've been going to physical therapy three times a week for a month. And these things help.
But until that grand and glorious day comes when they find a cure, I will always have Parkinson's disease. I can be fat and have PD. Or I can deprive myself of tasty cheeseburgers and yummy ham, egg and cheese sammiches, lose fifty pounds, and still have Parkinson's disease.
That's why I have these philosophical arguments with myself in the frozen foods section of the grocery store. It happens almost every time. I'll walk past the ice cream case and a voice will call me.
"Bill. Hold up a minute."
I've long stopped wondering how the ice cream knows my name. It just does. That's all.
"Leave me alone, ice cream," I think. That's how we communicate. It's a telepathic thing. After all, if I stood there arguing with ice cream it wouldn't be long before someone came and took me someplace soft and quiet where I wouldn't hurt myself.
"Aw, Bill," the container of mocha frappuccino ice cream croons. "You know how sweet, creamy, and delicious I am. And you're going to just walk by? Whatcha gonna do? Go get a CARROT?"
The other ice cream containers chuckle at the remark, but I see nothing funny in it.
"My doctor says I'm supposed to lose weight," I think at the ice cream, the sweet, creamy, FROSTY ice cream. "How am I supposed to lose weight if I eat ice cream every time I go to the store?"
The ice cream nudges aside some of the low-fat yogurt blocking its access to the clear glass door. "Your doctor isn't the image of a bronze Grecian god either," it says. "I bet HE eats ice cream. And he doesn't even HAVE Parkinson's."
This causes me to doubt my doctor's wisdom on this subject. He's been so right about everything else. Could he be wrong about…
"Of course he could be wrong," the ice cream purrs, not allowing me to finish the thought. "So, let me ask you again. Are you gonna go buy a CARROT? Or will you be enjoying spoonful after spoonful of sweet, creamy, delicious ice cream tonight?"
I'm a reasonable man. And it's damn hard to argue with good logic.
"You're going to LOVE me," the ice cream says as I place it in the cart and hobble towards the check out.
"I already do, ice cream. I already do."