The lonely, skinny man.

 

I shall begin with a Shakespearian snippet from Julius Caesar.  Please humor me as we listen to Julius’ prescient appraisal of Cassius.

 

 

CAESAR

Let me have men about me that are fat;
Sleek-headed men and such as sleep o’ nights:
Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look;
He thinks too much: such men are dangerous.

ANTONY

Fear him not, Caesar; he’s not dangerous;
He is a noble Roman and well given.

CAESAR

Would he were fatter! But I fear him not:
Yet if my name were liable to fear,
I do not know the man I should avoid
So soon as that spare Cassius. He reads much;
He is a great observer and he looks
Quite through the deeds of men: he loves no plays,
As thou dost, Antony; he hears no music;
Seldom he smiles, and smiles in such a sort
As if he mock’d himself and scorn’d his spirit
That could be moved to smile at any thing.
Such men as he be never at heart’s ease
Whiles they behold a greater than themselves,
And therefore are they very dangerous.
I rather tell thee what is to be fear’d
Than what I fear; for always I am Caesar.
Come on my right hand, for this ear is deaf,
And tell me truly what thou think’st of him.

 

 

And humor me a snippet of the life of Socially Extinct as he reached the train station this morning and realized he was empty-handed.

 

Of lunch.

 

I pulled into the stall, grabbed my courier bag, slammed the door shut, and sped off toward the train platform, and then the dread hit me.  Aw shit…don’t tell me.  My heart (and my stomach) thudded, bottomed out.

 

I ran back to my car and confirmed the passenger seat was indeed empty.  My lunch bag, with its sleek ice pack, nowhere to be seen.  In my head, an image intruded:  my forgotten lunch, sitting on the kitchen counter, smoldering, forgotten, uneaten, and all I had to my name for today’s weak feeding roster was a 7.5 ounce Braeburn apple and a peeled banana (4.2 ounces) hastily shoved into a small square Tupperware.

 

I would have fruit today, for lunch.  Is all.

 

The apple, about 100 calories, the banana, about 105.  I would consumer 205 calories in addition to the 483 I consumed at breakfast.

 

I was not crushed at the prospect of having nothing to feast on tis afternoon.  It’s only food.

 

Most people would resort to buying lunch in similar circumstances;  the possibility of missing one meal is alarming to most overfed Americans.  I was more crushed and irritated that I was wasting good food (ie, $$), though in reality, I should be able to salvage the 2.2 ounces of sweet potato, 3.4 ounces of green beans and cauliflower, 2.5 ounces of Brussels sprouts and 3.1 ounces of cucumber.  The lentil/brown rice concoction I cooked this weekend, not so fortunate.

 

All told, today’s caloric count would amount to about 690, short of my usual 900-1000 by the time I head home for the evening.  I splurged and had a Reese’s Peanut Butter “stick” – a wafer dipped in that timeless hybrid stew of chocolate and peanut butter, that of advertising lore.  Add another 110 calories for that extravagance.  Final tally:  800 calories.  This is my life.  I’m furiously OCD about my food consumption’s caloric value.  I’m not on a diet, I simply am hyper aware of what I eat and how much of it.

 

I’m severely thin right now;  not underweight but that is only because I lift weights and the muscle mass I’ve accumulated pushes me slightly over the 18.5 emaciation threshold.  I’ve more or less straddled skinny all my life.  Not always, but my natural, ectomorph physique tends toward the direction of skinny as long as I don’t consciously overeat.

 

 

 

>be skinny as shit and reclusive and a nervous early teen and with a bad case of acne vulgaris and if that’s not bad enough, the dr tells you and your mom that you’re too skinny and your chest is sunken and you should lift weights

 

 

Best damned advice I received as a pubescent 13-year-old runt, ever.

 

I had no idea what I was doing but I tackled those weights that my dad occasionally used in the garage.

 

I had no idea what sets or PR’s or laddering were, but I pushed some puny weights when I started lifting. Religiously, as I am prone to do. I devote myself to an activity and will pursue and maintain it with a fanatical allegiance.  I have never stopped lifting since.

 

>still skinny but continue to lift weights, gain weight in college, but it’s beer flab and around the midsection, and muscle, but I’m not overly concerned with muscle yet

>lose weight again, revert to “normal” frame skinny as shit 26-year-old and the girl who I’m pursuing, her friends tell her I’m too skinny we don’t click anyways, sayonara.

 

Being fat, obese, is never to be construed as advantageous in our world, but skinny works well for women, not so much for men. Men shouldn’t be skinny. Culture is more forgiving of a man’s extra heft but it does not humor very thin men and if you’re quiet and serious, you’re doubly cursed. Skinny and quiet are the twin towers of emasculation.

 

 

>be quiet be married be thinner and get fatter, be trying to bulk up and eat protein shakes and meat and everything and get fat, and weights increase, but can’t tie shoes without being slightly winded, become a sloppy fat-ass once the bulking regimen goes haywire like a cancerous cell

 

 

I eventually threw in the bulking towel.  I realized that looking beefy is a crappy look for short ectomorphs.

 

I embraced the skinny twirp waiting to be unleashed and I proudly buckled down on my nutritional intake.  I followed my instinct and only humored that which truly humored me;  I eschewed the superficial gluttony of hedonism and shallow excess that I wore like an expanding waistline.

 

To be thin was to be meticulous, rigid, vaguely humorless, morose, eagle-eyed, that which was me.

 

Skinny is not an isolated deviancy (especially in today’s world) but part of a broad tool-set of characteristics that render a man slightly aloof and disdainful and perhaps a little caustic.  The skinny man with nary a twinkle in his eye makes for a convenient villain.  Not jolly, not soft, but angles and cold bones and jutting edges contrived from within his angular frame.  This is the not the man people want to know, much less trust or commiserate with.

 

He’s the lonely, skinny man.