I just saw this on Reddit today and I wanted to share it here.
When you’re a parent, you have to realize that the child you brought into this world is going to be their own person and you’ll have to start getting into things you may not understand and have ZERO interest in.
However, you damn well better act like you are.
I can still remember the feeling as a kid getting Pokemon Red and it being something I loved so much, so I wanted to share that with my mom. I wanted to show her my team, tell her about the gym leaders I took down, and she just took a glance at the Game Boy color and went “mmhhhmm”.
She gave zero shits when I beat Banjo-Kazooie, a game which was INCREDIBLY hard for grade school me and you can make me have war flashbacks if you so much as say “Rusty Bucket Bay”.
My town in Animal Crossing? Catching rare fish? Who cares?
I liked a cartoon series so much that I wrote little stories about it? “No, I don’t want to read it.”
This type of stuff matters to kids so damn much and she’ll never realize how much it hurt our relationship. It might not seem like a big deal she never sat down and watched me play something like Luigi’s Mansion, but that’s how kids try and bond with their parents.
After constantly being shot down they’ll eventually stop talking to you entirely.
“When I tried to hug her, she’d tell me it was too hot for hugs. So I learned to stop trying. We never had conversations. I thought it was normal. It was all I knew. I always thought the relationship between a mother and a child was about giving and receiving orders. But when I was ten years old, I went to a friend’s house to do a school project. At first I remember feeling sorry for him. His family was so poor. There was almost nothing in the house. But when we walked inside, his mom gave him such a big hug. And she was so happy to see him. And that was the saddest moment of my life. Because I never knew that was something you could have. My mom still doesn’t hug me. But I think we’re on the way to that. I had an asthma attack recently, and I felt so weak, and she told me I could lay my head in her lap. I can’t explain how special that made me feel.”
Hey, I don`t submit things too terribly often, so I apologize if I`m breaking some sort of protocol. After reading your post on the Berenstain Bears (I grew up with “Stain” personally) I was reminded of an incident from my early childhood:
I was out with my mom in Tacoma, WA - my hometown. We were visiting her favorite thrift stores and the odd yard sale here and there before we stopped for lunch at a Taco bell near 6th Avenue. I remember what I had, even - a chicken Quesadilla, no sauce. We sat near the window and since I was a young child I was playing with a toy radio I had picked up at a (now closed) thrift store on 6th ave proper. Nothing of note happened until I was in my early teenage years and we drove past the building. It was an actual Mexican restaurant at this time, not a link in the chain of bad, Americanized “Mexican” food. Anyways, I mentioned the story and mom looked at me aghast. She said that it had never been a Taco Bell in my life. She went on to say that my story coincides perfectly with an experience she had with a cousin of mine who now teaches disabled kids in Southern California. I still vividly remember it, which side of the booth I sat on, where I was looking down the street past the window. I don`t believe my cousin is aware of this shared memory, she`s at least a decade my elder.
“Hey, May,” you smiled, walking into the apartment after hugging her. It had been four months of you and Peter getting to know each other. Peter was scared – terrified – when he walked up to you in that café. He could remember it as if he were doing it now: his palms were sweating, he could swear up and down that everyone within ear shot could hear how rapidly his heart was pounding against his ribcage; he felt sick. He had to remind himself to take a breath with each step he took – and it was only, like, fourteen steps. But, when you looked up at him, it only got worse. When he met you as Spider-Man, that’s who was separating you two. His suit, his mask, gave him the distance he needed to talk to you. And at that moment, without it, he felt so vulnerable. Peter had fought a man with mechanical wings, a guy with a metal arm, hell, even Captain America himself – but nothing was scarier than trying to talk a pretty girl – one that actually wanted to talk to him, too.
“(Y/N)?” She furrowed her eyes at you in confusion. “What are you doing here?” Your heart started to beat fast in your chest, wanting to check your phone to see if maybe Peter had texted you and asked you to cover for him. “I thought Peter was meeting you at your place?” You nervously coughed into your fist, nodding your head.
“Uh, yeah! He did, but uh, my mom brought over her new boyfriend.” She nodded slowly, her head tilting to the side, still confused. “And, uh, I asked Peter if we could come back here! Yeah, he went to go pick up some food – snacks. I wanted to know if I could sleepover? We’re having a movie night.” You shrugged, giving her a tight-lipped smile.
“Oh,” May said, her features softening and being replaced with a smile. “Sure, you can sleepover. Just remember-!”
“Yeah, no closed doors, I get top bunk. Got it.” Your cheeks flared at the ‘rule’ May had given you guys – knowing that nothing would happen with Peter, despite how badly you wanted something to happen.
“Tell Peter to pick me up something, too, alright?” You nodded. “Want to help me in the kitchen? I’m trying to bake this cake from scratch, but I feel like this takes more than one person,” May walked over to the box on the counter, shaking her head at the directions, “don’t you think?” She nodded you over to her and you were happy to distract May for as long as Peter needed – and for the conversation topic to be directed toward something other than yours and Peter’s non-existent relationship. You took out your phone and typed out a quick message, ‘told may u stopped to get us food, pick her up something too’.
Peter groaned as his body hit the ground, after having been slammed against the side of a car. “Give me a break,” he got up slowly, feeling a bit sluggish. He groaned again when he was pressed against a wall, his feet being lifted off the ground.
“Come on, Spider-Man. Is that all you got?”
“Nope,” Peter popped the ‘p’, “I just didn’t want to embarrass you in front of your girlfriend.” He nodded toward the woman sitting in the driver’s seat, who he guessed was the getaway driver, her face masked with the same kind her partner was wearing. “But,” Peter continued, “I’ve gotta get home before dinner, so we’re gonna have to cut the fun short.” His left hand came up to remove the ski mask while his right hand came up, bringing his fingers in to hit the trigger to his web shooter, a web shooting out toward the thief’s eyes. Once his feet hit the ground, he crouched and swung his leg out, knocking him over. He shot another web to secure the guy’s hands down to the cement.
He turned around, hearing the car’s ignition turn on. “I don’t think so,” he mumbled, shooting a web through the open window and taking out the keys, then webbing the driver’s hands to the steering wheel. He then walked up to the back of the car and picked it up, dragging it toward the wall. He attached a web from the wall to the trunk, hearing police sirens in the distance. He let out a sigh of content. “This was nice, but I’m late. Have a nice night.” He tilted his head toward the two, ignoring their swears at him as he swung his way back to his apartment.
The first thing Tooru sees when he wakes up his that all-too familiar pair of brown eyes.
He blinks slowly, his vision hazy. He reaches out to the side for his glasses, but they’re not where he usually leaves them on his nightstand.
In fact… his nightstand isn’t where it usually is. What’s going on-
“Hey, Tooru. Here.”
Hajime’s voice interrupts his train of thought, and he looks back up at his face. Tooru doesn’t need his glasses to see his favourite smile in the world. It lights up Hajime’s face, and Tooru nods and accepts them. He presses them up on his face, blinking a few times to get acclimatized.
He looks around at the white walls, white curtains, white bed sheets-
He’s in the hospital.
He gazes down at his leg, which is wrapped up tightly, elevated up off the bed. It doesn’t hurt, but the dull ache in his arm from the IV is probably to thank for that.
But… it’s okay.
Tooru looks up to see Hajime grinning down at him, standing just beside his bed. His best friend reaches for his hand, and their fingers press together with familiarity.
His hands are warm.
What’s he have to be scared of, when Hajime is right here with him?
“Hey…” Tooru starts, but his throat feels dry and scratchy. He swallows once, and tries again. “Hajime… hi.”
Hajime squeezes his hand. “Hey, sleepyhead. My mom told me you’ve been sleeping since your surgery.” Hajime brushes a hand through Tooru’s hair, which he’s sure is a mess, but the soft touch is welcome. Tooru doesn’t usually let him touch him like this - it’s too embarrassing, too
, too soft - but he’s tired and compliant right now so he doesn’t fight it. Tooru closes his eyes and leans into it, so Hajime repeats the motion, soft and careful. “Have you seen the doctor yet? I should probably go get them-”
“No!” Tooru interrupts, tightening the grip on Hajime’s hand, opening his eyes again. “Don’t leave.” Hajime stares down at him, so Tooru continues. “Just… not yet, okay?”
“Okay.” Hajime offers him a smile. “How are you feeling?”
I remember where I was during 9/11. I was in middle school living in Chicago and my mom picked me up and drove me home because she didn’t believe I was safe. I remember that the sky looked green that day. My uncle was in the FBI and his wife was a flight attendant, I remember him and my mom and the rest of her family going to every extent possible to try to figure out where she was since all communication had been cut off. My aunt was on a different flight and was ok.
I remember where I was during the Virginia Tech shooting. I was in middle school in Connecticut and my mom picked me up from school at the end of the day and held my hand from the front seat the entire way home because she needed tangible proof that her own child was still with her.
I remember where I was during the Boston marathon bombing. I was in my first year of college living in Boston and I had just gotten off the train. I had been at Copley Square not even twenty minutes before. I remember how lucky I felt to have left the scene before they went off. I remember being kept under lockdown in my house for days, we couldn’t even take out the trash without being ushered back into our homes by the police. The streets were completely silent.
I remember where I was during the Orlando shootings. I was drunk on a rooftop in Boston, watching the sky get lighter as the sun started rising. I was making my friends listen to my favorite Bright Eyes album and we chain smoked cigarettes as the sunlight sobered us up. I woke up a few hours later to a text from my mom “did you hear the news?” I felt my lungs drop into my knees and I wished I could feel marginally safer in my own city a thousand miles away from Orlando.
Before now the killings were indiscriminate. They involved the people who just so happened to be there at the time, they hid behind a veil of happenstance and impulsiveness. This time it was different, this was simultaneously a mass murder and a hate crime. The ‘audience’ was planned and calculated.
This shooter did more than just massacre over 50 people. He took away every single safe space for LGBTQIA+ people in doing so. He knew exactly where and how to find us because we did not feel the need to hide. He went into our safe space and he destroyed it. I am mourning the loss of every single life that he took, and I am mourning the security of explicitly queer spaces.
I have lived through too many mass killings in my lifetime already. So have you.
When I came out as bi to my mom, she had a lot of hangups about it. In kind of a good way? She was concerned that I’d be a target for violence if I dated guys, she was concerned about AIDS, she was concerned about social ostracization, basically she wanted me to date girls because she was worried what would happen to me if I dated guys. (We eventually got past that, when I eventually told her how not good her pressure to only date girls felt she felt really bad about it and stopped). But my mom definitely never questioned whether or not I was bi. One quick, “Huh. You’re sure you’re bi?” and a “Yup” and that was it.
But when my sister came out. Hoo boy. Our mom was constantly questioning her sexuality. It was a never ending barrage of “Are you sure?”, “I don’t think you’re really bi”, “Are you sure you’re not just doing this for attention because your brother came out?”. It was so unending that my sister just stopped talking about it and let our mom believe it was a phase she’d grown out of to get the hounding to stop.
“When I was about five years old, my family moved out of our neighborhood into a nice, peaceful, safe neighborhood with a lake at the top of the road. It’s just your average southern neighborhood; dogs and children playing, people lighting small fireworks up at the lake on the 4th of July, the sound of teenagers starting up engines, that sort of stuff.
My oldest brother was the first to think something was off with the house. For a while, he wouldn’t sleep in his bedroom. He was sitting at the table with my mom one day pretty soon after we had moved in (they were waiting for my other older brother and I to get home from school) and, very suddenly, asked my mom, ‘Do you feel them?’
My mom had felt something, and she tried to keep him calm and just replied with, ‘Yeah, but they’re just observing. They won’t hurt us.’
After a few minutes of little conversation, my brother said. ‘I need to go outside, I don’t like the way they’re watching me.’
She let him go, and, being the badass she is, went upstairs to chew a ghost up. She scolded a ghost for making him uncomfortable and told them that if they messed with her children anymore they had to leave.
My other brother never experienced anything in the time we lived in the house.
My dad said that he sometimes saw someone walk up our sidewalk and to the door, only for no one to be there.
My mom has seen whatever is in our house move things and she’s heard things, but nothing significant. She doesn’t mind whatever is there, and sometimes she’ll talk to them almost like she expects a response.
Now, when we moved into the house, I, as I said, was around five years old. I didn’t think anything of it. Sure, I’m sleeping in a room that used to be an office and it’s always epithet freezing cold or so hot you think you’re going to bake, but everything is great because I’m five and what do I have to worry about? Well, pretty soon after we moved in, I’d say about a year after, I had a dream.
In this dream, I was sitting in a chair across from a tall, muscular man. He was wearing an old fashioned army uniform (class A’s are what my brother has always called them.) and he had a large burn near his eye. His appearance didn’t scare me, as he was very kind. The way he spoke to me reminded me of the way that my own father spoke.he often told me about different subjects, but would skip over specifics that would help me figure out who he was. He told me about his daughter, but never her name. (Who also frequents our house and I have seen on multiple occasions. He told me that we, his daughter and I, would be great friends. He told me that he got his burn in an accident, but not anything else about it.
Every time I dreamed about him, we were sitting in the same room and he would tell me different stories every time.
Years went by, and around the age of thirteen I was alone in the house. So what? It would just be two hours for me to spend singing loudly and generally having a great time. I went to the fridge to grab a bottle of water, and out of the corner of my eye, I noticed something odd. A tall man was standing under the archway that lead to the garage.
I froze, he was staring directly at me and wasn’t moving. I gathered up all of my courage, remembering everything my mom had ever told me about ghosts (she’s a fanatic) and turned around to face whatever was there.
It was gone. Just like that, the man had disappeared. Being the young, stupid teenager I was (and still am) I called out, ‘Hello?’ There was complete silence. Of course, nothing should have responded! Why was I so on edge, this was my first time staying alone, so of course I was going to imagine things. Whatever, I brushed it off, got my water, and went off to do whatever it was I had planned on doing.
Maybe two weeks later, I was laying in my bed. In my bedroom, my bad had a small end table next to it and faced the door, with my closet being pretty much directly next to my bed. I have two windows on the opposing wall, neither with curtains.
I was writing a essay for my English class when I found myself very uncomfortable. I felt like something was watching me, which wasn’t unusual in this house. But there was something different about this feeling. It almost felt like I was in danger.
I shook it off and kept writing, as the essay was due the following class and I had tons of homework to do. That nagging feeling of being in danger, being watched, just wouldn’t go away. Then I felt fine! It was like whatever had been watching me left, and I was okay to keep writing without looking at my door every two minutes.
The hairs on my neck started to stand on end, and I whipped my head up, wondering what could be wrong. Almost on cue, my closet door shook so violently, I could have sworn it was going to come off of the hinges. All I could think was that was going to be my final moments. I was going to die, whatever was on the other side of that door was going to come in and kill me and no one would be able to do anything about it.
So, I screamed. I screamed for my brother. ‘RYAN!’
He came running from his bedroom down the hall and almost took my door down while opening it.
And it stopped. The door immediately stopped shaking. It was dead silent for a beat, and he asked what was wrong. I immediately started sobbing and telling him he had to sit with me while I worked and then we were leaving. After I calmed down, I explained what had happened and he just kind of stared at me.
The most recent thing to happen is that I’ve been seeing what I can only assume is the daughter of the man I dreamt about. She is young, maybe four or five, and has long blonde hair that she always wears half up. She had flowers in her hair and some kind of dress on. She never moves anything, doesn’t make noise, doesn’t try to make her presence known. She just watches.
I’ve taken to calling out to her whenever I see her, asking her to come closer, asking her name, hell, I’ve even set out toys and waited for her to mess with them. Nothing, she just watches me while I do different things.
So, I talk to her. I can only imagine that sound and looks crazy, but she seems pleased by it. I call her Genesis, a pet name, and it seems that she’s okay with that. She’s never gotten violent, but I’ve seen her get closer to me sometimes. I’ll feel her presence, sometimes I’ll feel something lay beside me in bed, something small, and I’ll tell her goodnight.
Maybe we’re all losing our minds, maybe these things are actually happening. All I do know is, our neighbors have even talked about seeing or hearing things in their own homes, so it’s not just us. I even read somewhere that my neighborhood was a plantation before everything was built up.
I don’t know, but ever since I got my puppy, they don’t mess with me at night. Sometimes I still see them during the day, and my dog sees them too. He’ll look over in the same direction I’m hearing or seeing things. He doesn’t growl, so I know everything is okay. He’s just watching the watchers, I guess.”
My big brother Jimmy is 11 years older than me. We were born and raised in
southern California. When I was 2 years old, our real father was killed in a traffic
accident. Jimmy was 13 at that time, and for the next five years he was really
like a dad to me. He was involved in athletics in high school, played football,
baseball, and wrestled, and also had a part-time job, but he always found time
to play catch with me in the backyard, take me swimming, and let me
“wrestle” with him. My mother took me to watch every game he took
part in. He was my hero. All my friends envied me because I had such a cool big
When I was 6 and Jimmy was 17, my mom remarried. Her new husband was a fitness
trainer who insisted that Jimmy and I call him “Beau”. He was real
“southern California”—had a great year-round tan, was a nutrition
fanatic, and always bragged about which rich and famous people he had trained.
Even though I was still a little kid, I could tell that he and Jimmy just
didn’t get along. There was never any fighting or yelling, but I could just
sense it. A year later, when Jimmy graduated from high school, he headed east
to the Philadelphia area, where our real dad had family. I was real sad when
Jimmy left, but he promised he’d keep in touch with me.
For the next 11 years, I didn’t see Jimmy in person. He wrote me a couple of
times a month, called me often, and sent me cards and money, too—on holidays,
my birthday, and sometimes just for the heck of it, I guess. He wrote my mom,
too, and always sent her pictures. Over the years, we received pictures of
Jimmy as he started working as a construction worker, then got married (my mom
flew east for his wedding), had kids, and started his own contracting company.
So, I knew that Jimmy had a wife, who my mom said was “a very nice
girl”, and over the years had three kids, two girls and a boy.
Whenever a card or letter came from Jimmy and his wife Emily, my mom would
eagerly read the letter and look at the pictures, then show them to me. She
also showed them to Beau. It always seemed to me that Beau never had anything
good to say about Jimmy and his family. I couldn’t figure out exactly what Beau
didn’t like about Jimmy, because my mom always changed the subject when Beau
started his sarcastic comments. I remember hearing Beau say things like
“Oh, heard from the blimp again?” when my mom got a letter. She’d
shoot him a dirty look, and then change the subject.
By the time I graduated from high school, I looked like the typical tanned
southern California surfer boy type. I liked the beach. I also went out for
sports in high school. I remembered what sports Jimmy had gone out for, and I
went out for football, wrestling, and baseball too. Beau never had the time to
go to any of my games, and he didn’t like it when my mom did either, but she
still went, and she sent Jimmy newspaper clippings about every game I played
Beau never had much to say to me, which was OK with me. The only area where he
tried to control my life was in fitness and nutrition. He never bugged me about
fitness—my being involved in athletics, swimming, and surfing meant that at 6'1",
I weighed 170 with six-pac abs, broad shoulders, a 30" waist, and slim
hips. I guess Beau was pleased that I was in good shape.
Nutrition was another story. He insisted that my mom cook vegetarian, low fat,
low carb, all that stuff. Even on holidays like Thanksgiving, we’d have a
soy-based turkey substitute (talk about stuff that tasted like shit!). Of
course, when I was at school and when I was with my buddies, I ate what I
wanted, but at home Beau strictly counted the calories for the three of us.
Beau made my mom and me weigh in at the end of every month. I’d have to get on
the doctor’s scale he kept in the room he had turned into a home gym (Jimmy’s
old room), just wearing my jockeys. Beau checked my weight and gave me the
“once over” to make sure, I guess, that I wasn’t getting fat on the
vegetarian crap we ate at home.
At one of these weigh-ins, I remember him saying “I’m not going to be the
step-father of a fat boy” when the scale showed a 5 lb increase in a
month. Luckily, I had grown an inch taller since the previous weigh-in, and I
was so active that I never really found out what he’d do if I did put on a
little extra weight. I do remember thinking when Beau made the
“step-father of a fat boy” crack, “Hey, buddy, don’t ever
mention the word ‘father’ when you refer to yourself and me”. But I kept
my mouth shut, not wanting my mom to suffer any grief from the jerk.
I turned 18 in April and graduated from high school in the middle of June
without any plans for the future. I guessed I was going to enroll in a local
junior college, but my real goal was to get a job and save money so I could
move out of the house and get away from Beau. My mom was hopeless. I knew she
loved me, but she seemed to love Beau, too.
The day before my graduation, I received a graduation card from Jimmy and
Emily. In the card was a print-out confirming that an e-ticket in my name was
awaiting me at the check-in counter of a major airline at LAX, one-way from Los
Angeles to Philadelphia. Emily wrote that she and Jimmy wanted me to come east
and live with them for as long as I wanted. There were a number of colleges in
the area where they lived, and I could go to school part time or full time,
whatever. If I wanted, Jimmy would give me a job at his contracting company.
All I had to do was make a reservation and let Jimmy and Emily know the date
and time of my arrival.
Beau wasn’t home when I showed the card to my mom. She cried when she read it,
but she looked at me and said, “Chuckie, I think you should go. I know
you’re not very happy here. Stay with Jimmy and Emily for a while and see how
things go. If you feel like coming back to California, remember you’re always
welcome here…with me, anyway. Please just promise me you’ll call me on my
cell phone every week.” I promised my mom. I called the airline and made a
reservation to fly east the next week, then I called and spoke to my
sister-in-law. With the three hour time difference, Jimmy was already at work.
Emily sounded overjoyed when I told her I was coming and kept saying,
“Your brother will be SO happy. We’re ALL happy!”
That evening, my mom told Beau about my plans. He glanced over at me and said,
“Just make sure you don’t end up like your brother, kid”. What the
hell was that supposed to mean? My brother Jimmy was happily married with three
kids and owned his own contracting company, for gosh sakes! I just ignored
Beau, figuring that if I said anything my mom would be the one to take the
heat, not me.
Over the next week, I partied up with my high school buddies. All of them were
going to stay in southern California. There was lots of kidding about me
surfing in the Atlantic Ocean, stuff like that.
The day of my flight arrived and my mom took me to LAX. Beau wasn’t with us,
which made me happy. My mom cried a lot, but I promised her I’d come back to
see her again in a year at the most. (I don’t know why I said that. I guess I
felt so bad that my mom was crying so much that I just said whatever came to
mind.) I boarded the plane and settled into my seat.
During the flight, I thought about how I’d recognize Jimmy when I arrived in
Philadelphia. After all, I hadn’t seen him in eleven years. Everyone in
California who remembered him told me that I looked just like him when he was
in high school—blond hair, blue eyes, kind of tall, and an athletic build.
I arrived at the Philadelphia airport and headed to the baggage claim area. I
got my bags and started looking for Jimmy. There was a mob at the claim area when
I heard on the PA, “Chuck Keyser, please report to the customer service
desk at baggage claim area B-1”. That had to be Jimmy, paging for me!
As I walked to the customer service desk, I scanned the area looking for my big
brother, but I didn’t see him. All of a sudden, I was grabbed from behind and
locked in a hug which knocked the wind out of me. “Chuckie, I could tell
it was you! You look just like the graduation picture you sent us!”
Without pausing for breath, the voice continued, “Kids, this is your Uncle
Chuckie!” I took a step back and looked at the man the voice came from, It
had to be Jimmy, so I said, “Jimmy, gosh, it’s sure good to see you”
as I embraced him.
If you’re thinking I didn’t recognize my own big brother right off, you’re
right! He was BIG! I don’t know why I was so surprised—eleven years is a long
time. I guess the photographs I had seen over the years hadn’t really impressed
me with how big he had grown. After all, I was only a kid for most of those
years! Anyway, the Jimmy who greeted me was my height, but as wide as he was
tall. He had a round face with chubby cheeks and a big double chin. You could
tell he was a construction worker from his broad meaty chest and shoulders and
huge upper arms and forearms. He was wearing a tight blue t-shirt with
“Keyser Contractors” on the front, but the shirt was so tight it
emphasized his massive fleshy upper arms, huge man boobs, enormous round belly,
deeply sunken bellybutton, and wide bulging lovehandles In fact, the shirt was
so small a good three inches of the bottom of his big belly hung below the hem
of the t-shirt.
My attention was distracted though by Jimmy’s voice. He was introducing me to
my nieces and nephew. “This is our oldest, Joyce, she’s 9, and then
Jennifer, she’s 8, and here’s little Jimmy, we call him Junior, he’s 7.”
The three kids all rushed up to me and greeted me like I was a long-lost
relative, which I guess I was! Each one of the kids took a bag (I had a
carry-on and two checked bags) and tried to grab my hand as Jimmy took the lead
as we walked out of the baggage claim area and headed to the parking structure.
I was trying to pay attention to each of the kids—they were all talking at
once—and follow my brother at the same time.
Actually, Jimmy was easy to follow—all I had to do was keep his broad
encased in the too-tight t-shirt, in view. I noticed that he had two
thick rolls of flab on the back of his neck. Below his broad shoulders,
enormous wide lovehandles sat where his lats and obliques had been when I
saw him when he was 18. Below the lovehandles, the two huge buttcheeks
made up his massive wide behind shifted from side to side and wobbled
bounced as he waddled along. His t-shirt was so tight, it didn’t cover
lovehandles, and I couldn’t help but notice that he had some major
action going as his massive white painters pants sagged down over his
butt as he waddled toward his van.
My attention was drawn back to the kids. I attempted to respond to each of
their questions. At the same time, I noticed how each of them resembled their
dad. All had the same blond hair he and I did, and all three of them were fat.
Joyce, the oldest, was actually only chubby. Jennifer was fat, and Junior was
really fat, as wide as he was tall and a miniature version of his dad
We reached Jimmy’s van and got my bags placed and the kids settled. Each of the
kids wanted me to sit next to them, but Jimmy finally said, “Look kids,
Uncle Chuck is my kid brother, so he’s gonna sit in the front next to ME!”
We all laughed, and were soon on our way out of the airport.
Soon, we left the airport area and were headed toward Jimmy’s house. Of course,
I didn’t have a clue where we were. After about 10 minutes, little Junior’s
voice piped up from the back seat, “Remember, Daddy, you said that if we
were good we’d stop at McDonald’s.” The two girls chimed in, “Yeah,
Daddy!” Jimmy turned, gave me a big smile, and said, “Yeah, kids, I
did say that. Let’s have Uncle Chuck decide if you were good or not!”
Of course, I said, “Yeah, Jimmy, they’ve been great. I think we should
stop!” I was kind of hungry anyway—the airline didn’t serve anything but
peanuts on both legs of my flight and I only had time at O'Hare to grab a hot
dog as I changed planes. My brother gave me a big smile and said, “I was
hoping you’d say that. I’m kinda hungry myself!” as he patted his huge
belly, which was brushing up against the steering wheel. The kids all happily
called out to me, “Thanks, Uncle Chuck!”
We got to McDonald’s and Jimmy went to order while the kids and I went to get
seats. I sat in a booth, but Joyce said to me, “Uncle Chuck, we don’t sit
in booths here because my daddy can’t fit in them, so we have to find a
table.” So, we moved. Jimmy came to our table with five supersized
quarter pounder with cheese meals, and an extra quarter pounder with cheese for
We all dug in without saying much. I figured this was going to be dinner and it
had been a while since I had last eaten. My two nieces didn’t finish all their
fries and so Jimmy took their leftovers and gave Jennifer’s fries to me and ate
Joyce’s himself. The supersize meal had filled me up but I managed to force
down the leftover fries. As I was finishing, Jimmy said to Junior, “OK,
Junior, are you going to finish all that? If not, pass it over to me.”
Much to my surprise, my 7 year old nephew said, “No, Daddy, I’m going to
eat it all” with a big smile on his face. I was stuffed after the meal and
here was my nephew still shoving in the food. I noticed that Jimmy looked
proudly at Junior as his son finished the whole meal.
We all finished and headed out to the van. After we pulled back onto the
highway, Jimmy said to the kids, “Now kids, remember, when we get home and
have dinner, don’t forget that you’re all going to clean your plates, right?
Remember that your mom goes to a lot of trouble to cook great meals for us and
we don’t want to make her feel bad by not eating all that she fixes,
right?” “Yes, Daddy” chorused the three voices in the back
seats. I began to get an idea about the reason for the size of my brother,
nieces, and nephew. At the same time, I was relieved—Jimmy in person was the
same nice guy I remembered from when I was a little kid. He was so cool!
Soon, we arrived at my brother’s home in Paoli, a suburb of Philadelphia. As I
entered the house, my sister-in-law Emily came running to the front door and
smothered me in kisses. She said how happy she was to see me and to have me as
part of the family from now on. I could see why my mom had described Emily to
me as “a very nice person”; she sure was very sweet and welcoming to
me. As we stood in the entrance way and talked, I confess I checked Emily out.
She was about 5'9", blonde hair and blue eyes, real pretty, and—you
guessed it—very heavy. She was just big all over—huge breasts, which
stressed the fabric of the t-shirt she was wearing and wide hips and enormous
thighs which were encased in a pair of jeans which seemed to be painted on.
Emily then said, “Now, Jimmy, we’re going to have dinner in about an hour
and a half, so take Chuck and show him the house and give him a chance to
freshen up.” We were going to eat in 90 minutes? I was real full, but I
remembered what my brother had told the kids when we left McDonald’s, so of
course I didn’t say anything.
My new house was a large multi-level. There was a “granny apartment”
on the ground floor—a bedroom, bath, small living room, and a kitchenette.
This was where I was going to stay. Jimmy told me that he and Emily thought I
might want some privacy sometimes although I was welcome to spend as much time
with the family as I wanted. On the main level was a large living room, a
dining room, a large kitchen (delicious aromas of dinner cooking came from the
kitchen as we passed by), a family room, the master bedroom/bath, and then on
the upper level were four bedrooms, one for each of the kids and a guest
bedroom, and more bathrooms. Jimmy then showed me the property. There was a
large patio with a built-in barbeque next to a big swimming pool. Jimmy pointed
out how far the property went. The house sat on a couple acres of ground.
We heard Emily calling that dinner was ready and headed back to the house.
Jimmy said to me, “Chuck, I can’t tell you how glad I am to have you here.
It’s always been my dream to have you come and live with us. I feel like I have
11 years to make up to you. This is your home now. Over the weekend, we’ll talk
more about your plans for work or school or whatever. Right now, just make
yourself at home and get to know Emily and the kids.”
Dinner was a huge spread, like a Thanksgiving feast. Jimmy, Emily, and the kids
all had seconds and even thirds. I had to force myself to eat
“firsts”—the McDonald’s meal had filled me up, but I pushed myself.
As I cleaned my plate, Emily piled it high again. I must have grimaced or
something because Jimmy caught my eye and winked at me! I got the message. I
better clean my plate or else Emily’s feelings would be hurt! So, I forced
myself. Then, Emily brought out dessert–two pies. One was to be split between
Jimmy and me, the other was cut into quarters, one each for Emily and the kids.
I begged off, telling Emily I was jetlagged, and she said she’d save it for
later. Gosh, I was already so stuffed!
I offered to help with the cleaning up and that gave me a chance to talk more
with Emily. We talked about my mom and stuff like that. Then, I went into the
family room to watch TV with Jimmy and the kids and Emily soon joined us. It
didn’t take long for the snacking to start! Leftovers from dinner, bowls of ice
My two nieces got into a minor squabble because both said they wanted to
a sandwich. I was so stuffed, I was going to say no, but before I could
brother said, “Girls, why don’t you each fix Uncle Chuck a sandwich.
Joyce, you can make him peanut butter and jelly and Jennifer, you make
cheese and jelly. Junior, you can bring Uncle Chuck a nice big glass of
We’ll see which sandwich Uncle Chuck likes best.” Jimmy winked at me and
knew I’d better make room for the sandwiches and milk. I didn’t want to
the kids. The kids soon came with the food, and the girls waited for me
judgment. Of course I said that both were equally good! (They were, too.
never had cream cheese and jelly before—I guess cream cheese wasn’t on
list of healthy food. Cream cheese and jelly sandwiches immediately
of my favorites.) By the time I went to sleep that night, my stomach
was swollen like a tight round basketball. I had never eaten so much in
That first evening set the tone for eating at my new home. Emily always
prepared three huge, delicious meals every day. Breakfast was always hot cereal
with sugar and cream, plenty of buttered toast, pastries, eggs, some kind of
meat—bacon, sausage, ham, or what soon became my favorite–scrapple. (Scapple
is a Philadelphia area specialty—pork, cornmeal and spices cooked together
and made into a loaf, then cut into slices and fried in butter. Delicious!) On
Sunday mornings, pancakes were added, with Jimmy doing the cooking. Lunches
were always mouth-wateringly tasty, too. I soon discovered that the first dinner I had at the house wasn’t a
special welcoming feast, like I thought that evening—it was just a standard
The next day, Saturday, my first full day at my new home, my nieces and nephew
showed me where the snacks were kept—there was a whole kitchen closet filled
with family-sized packages of chips, pretzels, containers of nuts, cookies,
candy, and boxes of every snack cake you could think of, like twinkies, but
especially snack cakes, pies, and pastries made by Tastykake, another
Philadelphia area favorite. When I asked my niece Joyce if her mom or dad
limited the amounts of snacks the kids could eat, she looked at me surprised
and said, “Oh no, Uncle Chuck, just as long as we eat everything at
mealtimes and clean up the mess, we can snack on what we want.”
I soon got into the routine of snacking frequently just like everyone
the family did. In addition to the contents of the snack cabinet, there
always leftovers from dinner, freshly made pies and cakes, ice cream,
sandwiches to be made and enjoyed. And, there was always plenty of whole
white or chocolate, or orange juice in the refrigerator to wash down
was eating. (Emily didn’t like the kids to drink soda because it was bad
for their teeth). My nieces really got a kick out of making snacks for
me, too, just
like they did for their dad. I didn’t want to disappoint them, so I
everything they made for me, even if I wasn’t hungry. Just as my niece
neither Emily nor Jimmy minded how much I snacked since I ate heartily
meal. I couldn’t help it. Everything tasted so good, and it made me feel
part of the family when I ate like they did.
Later that afternoon, Jimmy and the kids were out at the pool, and Emily and I
were inside talking as she was making some more pies. She was just so friendly,
interested in me and my hopes, and happy to answer my questions about the
Philadelphia area, and especially, about the family.
After the pies were put in the oven, she took me out into the family room. One
whole wall was covered with pictures of the family. There were pictures of me
as I was growing up, which my mom had sent them, and pictures of my mom too.
There were plenty of pictures of Jimmy, Emily, and the kids, of course, and
Emily explained each one of them to me. The, she brought out the scrapbooks.
Emily had scrapbooks full of pictures, all nicely labeled, which really told
the story of the family over the years. I was so eager to catch up on lost time
that I found every picture real interesting.
As I turned the pages of the scrapbooks, one thing I noticed was the change in
Jimmy over the years. At the beginning, after he first came east and met Emily,
he was slim and trim, just like me. The
first picture showed Jimmy in a bathing suit. His six pack abs and toned pecs, just like
mine, were very obvious. He had one arm stretched around Emily’s big waist and
his hand rested on her plump lovehandle.
Emily was snuggled against Jimmy’s chest, her massive right breast pushing
against his left pec.. In her left hand, she was holding a fully loaded
foot-long hot dog against Jimmy’s open mouth. He had a big smile on his face!
Every picture from that beach party showed trim and muscular Jimmy eating: a
mound of potato salad which covered a whole plate, a huge slab of pie a la
mode, a triple hamburger layered with cheese and bacon.
When Emily showed me those pictures,
she started reminiscing. “The first time I met Jimmy, I fell for him right
away. He was such a nice guy, and so handsome too. And, Chuck, don’t tell Jimmy
I’m telling you this, but on our first date, he told me I was the most beautiful
girl he had ever met and he actually proposed to me. And I’m still surprised
that I actually said yes! Of course, I think he’s even better looking now than
he was when we got married…” She blushed, stopped suddenly, and resumed “…oh
Chuck, I’m sorry to go on and on, but I love Jimmy so much! Don’t mind me.”
The following pictures in the
album gave a complete record of Jimmy and Emily’s life together.
Emily and Jimmy got married (they were both 19 and he had been working
construction for a year), the pictures of the wedding showed that Emily
was already almost as heavy as she was now. You could see that Jimmy’s
face had rounded out during the year since they met and he had a small
and round rosy cheeks. His suit jacket
was unbuttoned (as if it were too small) and the front of Jimmy’s dress
strained to cover a pot belly which bulged over the waistband of his
pants. There were pictures of Jimmy and Emily dancing which showed that
had gotten real big and bulky and stuck out even more than his belly! I
was stunned to see how
much he had changed in that one year, but of course I didn’t say
anything to my
After the wedding pictures, I could see that
every picture of an anniversary, christening, birthday, or other family
over the years showed Jimmy getting steadily heavier. His face got
body got wider and wider, his belly got bigger and bigger and rounder
rounder and hung lower and lower, and you could see how from year to
year he was developing the enormous fat man boobs, truck tire size
lovehandles, and huge
thick thighs he had now.
Wow! I thought to myself that it was so cool to see how happy Jimmy was over
the years. In every picture, he had a huge smile on his face. You could just
see how much he loved his family and was enjoying life. After eleven years
spent with Beau and my mom, it was so nice to see what a loving family my
brother Jimmy had. I made up my mind to do all I could to fit in with my
The next day, Sunday, Jimmy took me to see his main base yard and office and we
brought little Junior with us. Keyser Contractors had been started 10 years
before by Jimmy, with some financial help from Emily’s family. Business was
booming. Jimmy specialized in building homes, commercial buildings, things like
that. At any one time, there were more than half a dozen jobs going on. Jimmy
and I talked about my plans. He offered to pay for me to go to college,
whatever. I told him that I did want to go to college, but I wasn’t really sure
what I wanted to major in, and I really had thought about taking a year off
from school to work, anyway.
Jimmy offered me a job as a laborer. He explained that I’d be just another
employee of Keyser Contractors, even if my name was Chuck Keyser! He said,
“Laborers do all the heavy work, but you’ll learn the business from the ground
up.” Jimmy laughed as he added, “Sometimes when I’m stuck behind my
desk in the main office, I wish I could go back to being just a laborer again!
But business is good so I put up with the desk stuff and get out to the
job sites as often as I can.” We agreed that I’d start as soon as possible.
I was to get the pay and benefits which any other new hire with a high school
diploma would get.
When I asked Jimmy how much room and board he wanted me to pay, he said,
“For the past eleven years, I’ve wanted you to live with us, Chuck. Emily and I
agreed that you should save your money for the future. Plus, I expect that once
you get settled you’re going to have a social life, and you’ll need money for
that too. And speaking of your life, that SUV in the garage at home is for you
to use. Tomorrow morning, we’ll go down so you can get your Pennsylvania
driver’s license, and we’ll get you some work clothes too.” I was so
overwhelmed at my brother’s kindness, I didn’t know what to say except,
“Thanks, Jimmy”. He gave me a big smile and I noticed that there were
tears in his eyes. He was so cool!
Before we said anything more, we were interrupted by Junior’s voice calling
from another corner of the baseyard. Jimmy and I walked over to find Junior
atop a pile of 2 by 4’s. He had climbed up to the top, but couldn’t get down! I
ran over and positioned myself to lift him off the pile. Jimmy called to me,
“Watch your back, he’s a big boy!” Jimmy was right, I hoisted Junior
up and off the pile, but gosh, he was even heavier than he looked. Once Junior
was on solid ground, Jimmy scolded him and Junior sheepishly went over to the
van while Jimmy and I went more slowly. Jimmy noticed me rubbing my back,
laughed and said, “See, Chuck, I told you he was heavy. I think Emily told
me he weighs 150.” I was surprised
but didn’t say anything. 7 years old and already 150 lbs! I didn’t weigh that
much until I was a sophomore in high school! (That was the only time I’ve ever
heard anybody mention the weight of anyone in the family.)
On the way back home from the Keyser Contractors baseyard, Jimmy said to me,
“How about getting some coffee?” Of course I agreed. That was how I
was introduced to that institution of the Delaware Valley—Wawa! Think of a
convenience store like 7-11 but with all the food, coffee, and drinks much
fresher, tastier, and better, including fresh made hoagies (sub sandwiches to
you non-Pennsylvania-South Jersey-Delaware people) and a huge selection of
snack foods. There must be a Wawa every quarter mile or so in the Philadelphia
area, very convenient for stopping for lunch, a snack, or whatever!
At the Wawa, Jimmy and I got coffee and Jimmy picked up half a dozen small
Tastykake fruit pies, three for him and three for me. As Jimmy was paying for
this, Junior came up carrying a family size bag of chips and a big container of
dip, and sheepishly said, “Daddy, I know I was wrong to climb on the pile
of wood. Can I have these anyway?” Jimmy smiled, said, “OK son, just
make sure you don’t do that again. It could be dangerous” and paid for
everything. As we headed to the van, we watched Junior open the bag of chips
even before we got into the van. Jimmy said softly to me, “He’s really a
good kid. I’m glad he’s learned his lesson. And besides, he likes his snacks so
much. I just can’t say no to him!” We got into the van and headed out on
to the street.
We drove around for a while so I could get oriented to the area. Jimmy
drove past the jobs Keyser Contractors was working on and talked about each
one, and then we headed for home and dinner. Damned if Junior hadn’t eaten all
the chips and dip before we got home, and of course, Jimmy and I finished our
coffee and pies, too.
My first job assignment was a new doctor’s office close to the King of Prussia
mall. I fit right in as a worker at Keyser Contractors. The job was actually
kind of interesting, seeing how the building took shape over time. We even put
in the landscaping. The crew I worked with was mostly young guys, some my age,
and I made some good friends. The workday started at 7:30 a.m. at the baseyard,
then we went to the job site, and we ended back at the baseyard at 4:30 p.m.
Our lunch break was an hour long and we usually headed to the nearest Wawa for
hoagies, some kind of dessert, and something to drink. I usually got a quart of
whole milk (it just tasted so good with those delicious hoagies) or hot coffee
with plenty of cream and sugar when the weather was cold. Sometimes, we’d hop
into one of the trucks and head off to buy other Philly-area specialties. Cheesesteaks,
any kind of Italian food, huge soft pretzels smeared with mustard—I loved
them all! We took breaks for 20 minutes mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Emily
always packed me a bag of cookies or some home made brownies or something like
that and a liter container of orange juice for the breaks.
I gradually got to know people and have a social life. Pizza and beer on the
weekends with some of the guys I worked with as we played cards or whatever. I
met some girls, too, and went out some, but didn’t really find anyone special.
I wasn’t ready to settle down anyway.
I quickly fit in as part of Jimmy and Emily’s close family. Lots of love and lots of good food, too, whatever I
wanted and whenever I wanted it. My appetite grew quickly along with my
capacity, and in a few weeks I was putting away thirds at every meal without a
second thought and I automatically headed for the snack cabinet or the
refrigerator if I hadn’t had anything to eat for a while. No matter how much I
ate the day before, I woke up starving every morning, mouth watering at the
thought of what Emily was going to cook that day.
Outside of my strenuous job as a construction laborer, my physical activity
slowed down. Weekdays, I came home from a hard day at the jobsite looking
forward to dinner and then a comfortable evening in front of the television
with the family. I mostly just sprawled on one couch in the family room while
Jimmy sprawled on the other watching TV. The only time I moved from the couch
was when I went to the kitchen to get a refill on the snacks. Even then, one of
the kids usually volunteered to bring me something tasty, so I guess I didn’t
move very much. On weekends, the most strenuous thing I did was toss around a
football with Junior and Jimmy (no running, just tossing the ball—if the ball
went wild, it was Junior’s job to hustle after it and return it to Jimmy or
I kept up my interest in sports, but I went from being an active participant in
California to being a spectator in Philadelphia. Jimmy was a fan of all the
Philadelphia pro teams, and I quickly became one too. Depending on the season,
Jimmy, Junior and I watched all the Eagles, Flyers, 76'ers, and Phillies games
that we could on cable, while Emily and the girls kept a steady stream of
delicious snacks coming to us from the kitchen. All the physical activity I had
been doing in California was forgotten as I happily adapted to the lifestyle of
Jimmy and his family. Besides, during the winter, it was just too cold outside
to do much.
I think I mentioned earlier that when I left California I had a surfer’s tan.
Up until the end of September, I managed to keep my tan, even though we only
went down the shore to Ocean City in
South Jersey a couple of weekends. (I hadn’t brought my surfboard from
California with me, and the water was somehow different from the Pacific Ocean,
so I didn’t do much swimming, much less surfing.)
Most of the guys I worked with took off their shirts in warm weather and of
course I did too. So, I kept my tan, from the waist up anyway, until
mid-September. To my embarrassment, the first couple days I started working I
got the nickname from my work mates of “Buff Boy” because of my
six-pack abs! After a couple of months, that nickname disappeared (looking back, that was around the
same time my six-pack disappeared too). Suddenly, though, in the middle of
September, it turned COLD! Well, not cold like it got later in the winter, but
to me, raised in southern California, temperatures in the low 60’s made me put away
all thoughts of working shirtless. Pretty soon, we were all wearing heavy
sweatshirts, heavy flannel shirts, and down vests when we worked outside.
Time went by pretty fast. Autumn came and went, we had some snow right before
Christmas, I enjoyed celebrating the holidays as a part of Jimmy and Emily’s
loving family, we had more snow and cold weather, and then finally it was early
April. There came the day in early April when I finally was able to take my
shirt off at work again and try to start a tan. This one day (in fact it was
the day of my 19th birthday the first week in April) the temperature suddenly
rose into the high 80’s and it was HOT!
So off came my shirt. I didn’t expect any reaction. All the other guys on the
crew, like me, were shirtless that day. During our morning break, I was sitting
eating my morning snack with my work mates when one of them suddenly said to
me, “Hey Chuck, look at you! You’re not ‘Buff Boy’ anymore. We’re gonna
have to call you 'Belly Boy’ now!”
I looked down at the white round fat pot belly which was ballooning over the
waistband of my low-slung jeans. On each side of it were bright red lines—stretch marks! I knew I had been putting on some
weight—since I bought my first work clothes the previous June, every couple
months I’d have to buy jeans, overalls, and even jockey shorts the next size
up. I had started with size 30, and at that point in early April, size 40
relaxed fit jeans were real tight on me. I must have blushed or something at
the “Belly Boy” crack because one of the other guys said, “Hey, don’t
worry about the belly, Chuck. Just look at the rest of us, man. Having a belly
goes with working construction!” We all laughed, and I went back to
finishing my bag of cookies. I confess, I didn’t give any more thought to my
weight. Life was going great, and who cared what size I had to buy?
Even though I spoke with my mom on the cell phone every week, I was surprised
when at the beginning of June she reminded me that I had promised to visit her
after spending a year in Pennsylvania. When I offered to send her the money so
that she could fly east to visit the whole family and see the kids, she
declined. She had to work overtime and couldn’t take a vacation since Beau’s
fitness training business wasn’t going so well and he had lost a lot of their
savings through bad investments. So, I reconciled myself to flying west for a
week to visit her.
When I told my plan to Jimmy and Emily and the kids that night at dinner, the
kids all said, “You’re coming back, aren’t you, Uncle Chuck?” I said
I definitely was. Jimmy and Emily looked relieved when I said that. I was due a
week’s vacation anyway, so I booked my round-trip flight for a week at the end
When it came time for the trip, Emily packed me some food to take on the plane,
a bakery box with eight pieces of cold fried chicken, a dozen buttered home made biscuits, and
a dozen 4” home made mini cherry pies. That provided me with lunch and some snacks for the trip.
The plane trip itself was OK, but it seemed to me that the seats had shrunk
since I last flew a year before.
My mom met me at LAX. Lots of hugs and tears. Then, we drove to my old home. I
asked her how my old friends were doing and she mentioned that she had run
across some of them at the mall and they were looking forward to seeing me. She
also mentioned that Beau wasn’t going to be there for most of the week—he was
in northern California with one of his rich clients. Frankly, I was happy I
wouldn’t have to see him for a while. Once back at my mom’s house—I thought
of Jimmy and Emily’s place in Pennsylvania as my real home now—I called some
of my old buddies, three guys named Frank, Bill, and Joe. We agreed to meet at
the mall the next day.
My mom went to work early the next day. When I got up, I put on one of my
“Keyser Contractors” t-shirts (I confess I wanted to show off to my
friends) and my newest pair of jeans shorts. I hadn’t worn them before. (None
of the shorts I had worn last summer fit me, and I had bought these just before
the trip. I was in a hurry at the store and just grabbed the next size up
without trying them on.) The new shorts were tight on me, but I got them
buttoned after a while and my thoughts quickly turned to breakfast.
All I could find for breakfast in the house was some skim milk, toast, and diet
jam, so I headed to Bob’s Big Boy for some real food. It wouldn’t be the huge
delicious home cooked breakfast I had come to look forward to over the past
year, but it definitely would be better than watery skim milk and that other
diet crap. (For the rest of my week in California, I ended up buying my own
food. I had brought plenty of spending money with me, and there’s all kinds of
fast food places in the L.A. area, so I didn’t go hungry. My mom was working
super long hours and she didn’t have time to cook for me anyway.)
After a satisfying breakfast at Bob’s Big Boy I headed to the mall and got to
where my buddies and I had agreed to meet, the food court. I was early so I grabbed a snack at
Cinnabon while waiting. Back home in Pennsylvania with the time difference, I’d
be having my lunch already at work and I was still kind of hungry. Suddenly I
heard my friends calling out, “Hey there he is”, all that kind
of stuff. The three of them. my closest buddies who I grew up with, all rushed
me and we exchanged hugs and wassup’s.
The next thing out of the mouths of all three of them was “What happened
to you, Chuckie?” “Yeah, what happened, dude?” “Man,
Chuckie, just look at you!” I didn’t know what they meant so I said,
“What are you guys talking about? It’s the same old me!”
“Oh no, it’s not the same old you! You got a pot belly now!” said
Frank. “And titties, too, dude!” said Joe as he grabbed a handful of
my left man boob and shook it. And then Bill, who was standing behind me, aid
“Hey guys, Chuckie’s wearing size 42 relaxed fit shorts. That’s what the
label says, and check the size of this muffin top and fat ass on him!” Frank added,
“Size 42?, and his pot belly’s hanging over his waistband too! Damn,
Chuckie, you’re a tub now!” They all laughed while I blushed. During the
past year, I guess I had put on some weight, but nobody ever said anything to me
except for that one time at work in April. Even my mom hadn’t said anything
when she met me yesterday.
But my next thought was, who gives a damn? My life was going good. I didn’t
even know what I weighed and didn’t care. At Jimmy and Emily’s the topic of
weight never came up. So, I just brushed off what my old buddies were saying.
finished my heavily-buttered cinnamon roll, and we got on with the business of
catching up with each other and planning on what we were going to do for the
next days while I was back visiting my mom.
One more thing my buddies gave me some static about—how I talked! I guess I
had picked up a Philadelphia accent over the previous year. (If you don’t know
what I mean, just ask somebody from the Philadelphia area to say
“boat” or “coke”.)
The five days I spent with my old buddies went by pretty fast. Going to
beach with them every day and hanging out with them was great, but they
continued to give me static about my size and about how much I ate! I
was just in the habit of eating more now and I needed to make food stops
often. Wherever we stopped,I always treated the guys to whatever they
wanted when I placed my order. On the day before I was to fly back to
Philly, when we stopped for a snack (at my request) on the way to
Malibu, Frank said, “Gee Chuckie, we’re gonna miss you when you leave,
but if you stayed any longer, we’d all get as fat as you, dude! Nah,
just kidding, man”.
The guys also kidded me about my surfing. I went out on my old board a
couple of times the first day, but I was just so out of practice. I was less
agile now and getting up on my board and catching the waves took a lot more
effort now than a year ago. So, I ended up relaxing on the beach watching Bill,
Frank, and Joe ride the waves while I checked out the girls, dozed, thought of
my family back in Pennsylvania, and snacked on whatever I could find.
There was this hot dog stand right across the road from our favorite beach, and
I found out the first day that they had great hot dogs and low prices. I had
been going to that beach since I was a kid, but this was the first time I ever
thought to get food there and for that week I became a steady customer, buying
three or four at a time while my friends were out on the waves. Man, those hot
dogs were great! You could get them boiled, steamed, or fried in butter (my
favorite) and you could ask for the buns to be toasted and buttered and have
cheese melted on top of the dog. Plus, they had great take-out Mexican food,
too. Hmmm, delicious!
Bill, Frank, and Joe kidded me about me about just relaxing on the beach and
snacking, calling me “Fat Chuckie”, but hey, my life had changed
over the past year and I deserved a week off just to kick back, relax, laze
around, and snack whenever I felt like it. It was my vacation, right?
The day before I was due to go back home to Philadelphia, my mom mentioned to
me that Beau was coming back the next morning. Oh great! I had been hoping to
avoid him, but I’d have to put up with him for a couple of hours before I
headed to the airport.
The next morning, I got up and packed. Knowing that I’d have to at least
hello to Beau, I put on my jeans shorts and one of my “Keyser
Contractors” t-shirts. (Just wanted to show off to him, I know.) When I
heard Beau arrive, I was watching TV and eating a bag of Chips Ahoy
cookies (almost as delicious as Emily’s home made cookies!) and drinking
quart of chocolate milk I had bought for myself. I didn’t say anything
mom and Beau came into the living room and my mom said, “Aren’t you
to say hello to Beau, Chuckie?”
I stood up and said hello. The first words out of Beau’s mouth were,
“Well, well, didn’t I tell you last year to watch it, kid? Just like I
thought, you’ve turned into a baby blimp. A few more years and you’ll be as
huge as that big blimp brother of yours.” I was all set to tell him where
to shove it when I caught my mom’s eye. She was silently shaking her head
“No” and I realized, she’s going to have to live with this creep
while I’m out of here for good in an hour. So I just said, “Yeah, Beau, I
guess I have filled out a little” and gave him a big smile.
He replied, “How much do you weigh, kid?” I told him I didn’t know,
which was true. I hadn’t weighed myself for the past year, since I left
California last June. Why should I? Who cared how much I weighed? Beau replied
seriously, “Well, kid, let’s get you on to the scale like we used to and
see what it says. Then, I can give you a diet and fitness plan so you can drop
the weight before any more damage is done.” I realized the guy was being
serious and not sarcastic, and I decided to play along with him, just to keep
the peace for an hour. I went inside the bedroom, took off my t-shirt and
shorts, and came out wearing my jockeys.
I met Beau in the room he had set up as a home gym, where he had the doctor’s
scale (I remembered it was Jimmy’s bedroom many years ago when I was a little
kid and before Jimmy went east). I could hear my mom bustling around in the
As I walked into the home gym room, Beau’s eyes opened wide. “My
God, baby blimp, the damage is worse than I thought. Look at that flab jiggle
as you walk. I can see you have muscles in your arms and chest and
quads…” (thanks, buddy, I thought, I’ve been working hard in
construction for a year—what did you expect?) “…but you’re just
covered with ugly fat. Kid, you used to have great pecs, and now look—they’ve
inflated up with fat into two big round tits. Looks like you need a DD cup. And
check out those lovehandles, too. Plus, it looks like your bellybutton is
drowning in the flab on your fat pot belly. And look at the way your fat ass
balloons out! And those stretchmarks! They look like a map of the Interstate Highway system! Jeezus, aren’t you embarrassed?”
Hell, no!, I thought, but again I didn’t say anything. I put on a serious
expression and said “Well….”
Beau actually thought I was serious. He was falling for my bullshit routine! I
got on the scale ad Beau fiddled around and the scale balanced out at 274! Beau
turned red and his eyes bulged and I thought he was going to have a stroke or
something. He went to his desk and checked a notebook. What was he doing? Then
he said, “According to my log, last time I weighed you a year ago, you were
My response was to try to look shocked. Actually, I was kind of impressed—104 lbs gained in a year. Pretty impressive!
Beau then continued, “We gotta do something about
this RIGHT NOW! I can’t let anybody see you looking like this. What are people
going to think of me as a fitness trainer if they see that you’re a baby blimp
fat boy! Right?”
“Right, Beau,” I said, realizing that it wasn’t about me at all, it
was about Beau’s image. That’s all he cared about. So, I continued to play
along with him.
Beau just kept on talking. “Great, kid! Someday soon, I just know I’m
going to have my own nationally syndicated exercise show. I’ll feature
you on the show as one of my success stories. If
only I could persuade your big blimp brother to get with the program,
not gonna be good for my image if some supermarket tabloid digs up the
my step-son in Pennsylvania is a big overfed fat slob with a big overfed
family. Maybe I can get to him through you….”
I was getting angry at this point. Who the hell was he to put down my
and his family like that? They were great, loving people. Beau and his
big talk! What a shithead! But I thought of my mom and looked at my
minutes more before I headed to LAX and then I’ll never see this bastard
ever. “Right, Beau. I’ll do all I can….” I purposely didn’t say
what it was I was going to do.
“Great, kid. Just keep one thing in mind when you’re following the plan
I’m going to make for you. Who do you want to look like? Me…?” and his
flexed his biceps and made his pecs jump at this point, “…or that
overfed blimp fat ass brother of yours?”
My reply? “You can count on me to make
the right choice, Beau.”
“OK, kid, I’ll work on the plan while you and your mom go to the
airport, and when I’m finished, she’ll mail it to you. Don’t worry, I’ll get
this blubber off you real quick and then I’ll put you on a maintenance
plan.” Boy, what a prick! Everything was centered on him and his image. No
wonder I could sense that Jimmy didn’t like him back when I was a little kid.
Beau was busy writing as I headed out the door. I quickly changed back into my
clothes, picked up my bag, and went to the living room. My mom looked at me and
said, “Everything OK between you and Beau?” “Sure, Mom,” I
replied with a smile on my face, “when you come back from taking me to
LAX, Beau will tell you all about it.” She smiled and looked relieved. I
felt sorry for her.
I went back into the home gym room
and said to Beau, “I’ll be on the lookout for your plan, Beau!” Yeah,
right! When I received it, it was gonna go straight into the trash.
My mom dropped me off at LAX and I went through security screening. Gosh, I was
hungry. I headed to McDonald’s on the main concourse and bought a supersize
quarter pounder with cheese meal, three fish sandwiches with extra tartar
sauce, and a strawberry shake. After I finished, I noticed that they were
selling quarter pounder meal box lunches meant for people to eat on the plane.
I bought three of them and a liter bottle of orange juice to hold me until I
arrived home in Paoli and I could get a real meal.
I arrived in Philly and Jimmy and the kids were there to meet me. After we
hugged, I asked, “How’s Emily?” “Mom is home cooking a special
welcome home dinner for you, but she said it’s a surprise!”, Junior said
seriously. Jimmy and I laughed while Joyce and Jennifer gave Junior dirty
It was good to be home!
We soon arrived back at the house. Emily met us at the door and I gave her a
big hug and kiss. It was so good to see her! I put my bag in my room downstairs
and headed to the kitchen, where Jimmy and Emily and the kids were talking.
Emily smiled and said to me, “I understand you know, Chuck, that I’m
making a special surprise welcome home meal for you…” My mouth started
to water and my stomach rumbled with anticipation as Emily looked at Junior at this
point (he had a sheepish look on his face) and continued, “…so why don’t
you men go outside while the girls and I finish preparing dinner. It should be
ready in a couple of hours.”
As we headed outside, little Junior leading the way with some cookies in his
hand, Jimmy said, “Hey, it sure is warm today! Let’s get more comfortable
here” and took off his t-shirt. Junior and I followed suit immediately. It
was a lot more comfortable to be shirtless in the late June heat and humidity.
Jimmy was wearing a pair of jeans shorts like the ones I had on. As we headed
to the wooden lounge chairs by the pool (Jimmy had an extra wide one, specially
made for him), I caught a glimpse of the label on Jimmy’s shorts. Size 62! As
he waddled along, Jimmy’s enormous man boobs bounced and jiggled and his huge
wobbling belly and lovehandles erupted over the waist of the shorts. The shorts
were stretched to the max and straining to cover Jimmy’s massive wide behind,
but they couldn’t do it. The tops of his fat buttcheeks ballooned over the top
of the shorts, showing three or four inches of his deep buttcrack.
Jimmy and I sat down. Jimmy said to Junior, “Son, go into the house and
bring us all some cold orange juice and some snacks. It’s going to be a while
until we eat dinner.” We sat and talked about my trip, about mom, and how
things were going at work. Neither one of us mentioned Beau at all. As we
talked, I thought how cool my big brother was—just a great guy!
We stopped talking for a minute and Jimmy closed his eyes. I guessed he was
dozing. From what he had told me, the last week had been real busy at work and
he was probably tired.
As we sat there, I looked over at Jimmy. For the first time, I wondered how
much he weighed. Of course, I’d never ask him, but I thought, gee, if I’m 274
and size 42 is tight on me, Jimmy has to weigh at least 425-430 to be
stretching his size 62’s. His wide lovehandles, huge butt and enormous thighs
completely filled the seat of the extra-big chair and hung over the sides. His
overinflated man boobs, two huge bulging balloons thatched with blond hair through
which two big stretched pink nipples peeked, contentedly sat on top of his
magnificent big fat belly. His huge round belly rested on his lap, almost
reaching to his knees, and hung down between his hefty thighs. His enormous
meaty shoulders and arms completed the picture—he not only was a cool guy, he
looked so cool, too!
After glancing over at Jimmy, I looked down at myself as I relaxed in the
wooden large chair. Of course, I was nowhere as big as Jimmy, but I was pleased
to see how my big pot belly ballooned over the top of my shorts, even though I
had opened the top button to make myself a little more comfortable. I grabbed a
handful of my bellyfat and jiggled it, making my man boobs and lovehandles
jiggle and bounce. It was great to see how my big round fat man boobs sat on top of
my belly, a smaller version of my brother’s awesome chest. I also looked down
at my plump thighs, smaller versions of Jimmy’s impressive tree-trunk upper
legs. On each side, left and right, my hefty hips completely filled the seat of
the lounge chair. I was really getting a spread on me! Cool!
Earlier that day, Beau had asked me to choose who I wanted to look like, Jimmy
or him. I knew then what my choice was, of course, but that moment by the pool
confirmed to me that I was going to do all I could to be as much like my cool
big brother as possible!
Junior came out and called, “Here’s the snacks!” Jimmy’s eyes opened
and he smiled at Junior and me. I took the family-size bag of chips and
extra-large container of creamy dip from Junior, balanced the container of dip
on top of my pot belly between my big man boobs, opened the bag and the
container, and dug in. Jimmy took a big bag of chips, too, and sent Junior back
into the house for the orange juice.
Jimmy looked at me and smiled and I smiled back. “Jimmy…” I looked
directly at him, “…it’s good to be back home with the family.”
Jimmy replied, “Chuck, we’re all happy you’re back. I missed you—we all
missed you! The week you were away reminded me that you’re the best brother I
could wish for.”
“Same here, Jimmy, you’re the coolest big brother anyone could have!”
I really meant it and he knew it.
Jimmy opened his bag of chips and dug in as I shoved chips with big gobs of dip
into my mouth. Damn, I was hungry!
As we both ate, I closed my eyes for a minute and thought to myself. Here I
was, just a happy member of the best family going! Life was great and was
going to get better.
I don’t know about you all, but I was FASCINATED when Connor said the line “I’m having coming out flashbacks.” I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so I wrote this. TRIGGER WARNINGS: Self harm/suicide attempt, homophobia/slurs Please enjoy! I’m real proud of this one!
It’s in the quietest moments when his thoughts make the most
When it’s quiet and he’s alone, when there aren’t other
people around to talk or distract him, his thoughts and memories creep up on
him, wrap around his entire being and choke him.
All the memories, all the thoughts and feelings, past and
present, decided to hit him, like a violent gust of wind, all at once.
Connor has a knuckle white grip on the sink, staring at his
wrists. He can still make out the purple bruises and rash from the cuffs
digging into his skin. It all floods back to him, everything that happened.
Finding Wes, smelling the gas, bolting out of the house. The way his ears rang
when he heard the explosion. The helplessness as he watched the house burn to a
crisp, Wes still inside, dying before his eyes in a heap of fire and
He didn’t see the pictures of Wes until they were at
Bonnie’s; the sight of Wes, full of bright smiles and shy tones, lifeless on a
metal slab, flesh seared to the core, muscles torn apart, made him want to
vomit in the chair right there. The sound of the explosion played over and over
in his head, coupled with Laurel’s screaming, hollering that he should kill
himself, end it so they wouldn’t have to deal with him anymore.
In that moment, a small part of him knew she had a point.
Connor’s breathing went ragged and strained, heart
quickening as the memories burned into him.
He gazed at his wrists again, remembering every pang of his
stomach another hour he went without food in the holding room, and the way his
tongue dried with each minute without water. How he felt like a chained animal,
remembering the last time he was restrained like that.
Connor doubled over, dry heaving into the sink, nothing
coming out but his stomach felt like it was on fire. His vision grew blurry as
he stumbled out of the bathroom, knocking into walls and doors towards the
living room before collapsing in a heap on the floor, wheezing, sobbing. It
seemed as if everything went dark, a cruel, mocking contrast to the sunny day
He raised a shaking wrist to his hand, remembering the
places that used to house different scars. He sobbed and wheezed some more, his
heart feeling like it was going to hammer out of his chest as he curled in on
Through the high-pitched ringing in his ears, he heard the
door open and bags drop to the floor.
“Connor!” Oliver cried, diving to the floor beside him.
“Connor, can you hear me?” he asked placing a hand on his
“H…h…help…help me…” he sobbed, reaching out.
Oliver grabbed his hand, squeezing it while pulling Connor
in closer with his other arm.
“What can I do?” he asked, trying to keep his voice steady.
“H—hold…hold…” Connor choked.
“Okay, okay, I’ve got you. I’ve got you,” Oliver murmured,
holding him close, rubbing circles into Connor’s back.
With each word Oliver said, and with each turn his hand did
on his back, Connor felt the suffocation of his memories fade away, little by
little. His hands stopped shaking, and his heart slowed down, no longer feeling
like it was trying to escape out of his chest. The pressure of Oliver beside
him, along with the warmth of his body and the soft words of assurance Oliver
whispered in his ears helped the attack ebb away. His breathing opened and his
vision was clearer. After a while, he spoke.
“Thank you,” Connor croaked, voice rough.
“Of course,” murmured Oliver, pulling away slightly to wipe
the remaining tears from Connor’s face.
“Can you help me up?” Connor asked.
Nodding, Oliver shifted his weight so he was on his knees,
sliding an arm into the pit of Connor’s to hoist him up off the floor. His legs
feeling like jelly, Connor landed on wobbly, weak feet, but he was up
“Couch?” Oliver asked.
It was Connor’s turn to nod as Oliver helped him plop on the
couch, sighing when he finally traded cold hardwood for soft plush.
“Do you need anything else?” Oliver asked gently, still
Connor shook his head, “No, just stay,” he mumbled. Oliver
took the seat next to him, wrapping an arm around his shoulder on instinct,
Connor coming to rest his head on Oliver’s shoulder.
“I…I didn’t get the chance to actually think
about…everything that happened. It…I guess the adrenaline kept me from it
getting in my head. They all hit me like a ton of bricks,” he said, voice still
“Some brain, huh? I can’t even wash my hands without
freaking out about it,” Connor huffed a bitter, humorless laugh.
I just wanted to tell you that I moved to London on Monday to live here for a year. When I arrived at Kings cross on Monday, I was really nervous and emotional because I had leave all my friends and family behind and didn’t know where in London I’d end up. But when I checked my phone I saw that you posted the first snake video and I got so exited and happy and took it as a good luck sign that you’re back on my first day here. So since then, all of your posts have really kept my mind off of missing home to much. On Wednesday I moved to a lovely host family (I’m gonna work as an Au-pair) and the thing my host mom remembered about me was that I’m a huge Swiftie so she randomly told me that she just read that you might release a new single this week (hashtag host mom goals lol).
I don’t have any friends here yet so I went to the city alone which felt a little weird but I got so exited when I saw these advertisement at Piccadilly Circus!!!! I took the escalator up and down 3 times to take these shots haha.
So what I want I say with this post is: Thank you for still making me feel fearless after all these years. I’m definitely gonna keep you updated about my London adventure and hope you’ll continue to give me comfort with you posts, music or being on Tumblr whenever I need it.
I love you forever, your German Tumblr buddy Jana ♥️🇩🇪🇬🇧
letters: a malec au in which magnus and alec study journalism at college and they have to write a letter to the first person they’ve ever kissed. (bonus: maia and alec are bffs) | words: 2,086.
Alec really didn’t enjoy college. He liked journalism as a concept, he liked telling stories and he’d always expressed himself better through writing; he liked the idea of, maybe, someday, changing the world with the things he’d write. (He’d always been a sort of utopian in that sense.) He just didn’t like studying all of that in college.
Oral expression was the class he hated the most. They were supposed to learn how to express themselves in television and radio, two areas Alec was sure he wasn’t going to come near to in his life. First of all, because he didn’t like the idea of exposing himself like that. Second of all? He just didn’t know how to come up with a sentence without making an incoherent mess of words and verbal tenses. It was frustrating, to say the least.
And if all of that weren’t enough, his classmates were terrible, too. They were all stupid twenty-year-olds that had ended up there because of a thread of coincidences that had nothing to do with passion. (Well, not all of them.)
Genre: A/U, Angst, Violence, Fluff, Romance, more in the future.
Pairing: Yixing x Reader
Word Count: 6K
Summary: Inhumans are people born with powers, feared by most all over the world. Inhumans are often killed before the age of three or kept locked up and tested on. EXO is a rogue group of Inhumans who broke free and are now looking to free fellow Inhumans as well as get justice for their kind. However, with their powers come limitations. With these limitations, they sometimes need a helping hand.