That’s a tenuous grasp if ever there was one thought Fat Chance to himself.
Fat Chance was a nom de plume, a nom de guerre, a pseudonym. A fake name. But the thing was, is and will be he couldn’t remember who he really was.
He had memories but memories of other people. Other places. Other things. But not of himself being present in those moments which were past yet always there. He wondered how that could be.
He remembered Smokey the dog next door. He remembered the girl who fell off the sliding board in 1st grade. He remembered the smell of Christmas trees. But he couldn’t remember himself “being there”.
So, he watched a movie called “Being There”. The character was named Chance but the film, it didn’t look like a movie, Aloha Bobby and Rose or Dirty Mary Crazy Larry were movies. wasn’t about Fat Chance so he lost interest quickly. He let the movie play so he could tell himself he watched “all of it” but got up several times during it to use the bathroom, watch nuthatches, wrens and chickadees feed at the birdfeeder outside his window and finally in a nadir of boredom polished all the doorknobs in his place. This last act brought on a great anxiety: how could he open the front door, the only door in his place that exited outward, without sullying its polished sheen? Open the windows, Fat Chance. He was on the second floor.
So, he pushed some buttons. Tapped some keys. Definition, what is fat chance: used to say that you certainly do not think that something is likely to happen. Well that didn’t help. Maybe it was time for a name change. Sighing, he sat back and put his hands on his hips.
He grabbed his flanks. Then typed “love handles” and it said How to Lose Love Handles in TWO Weeks. Now he felt worse. He had so much left to do with his life. Two weeks? He’d only get about 75% of it done. 80% tops. The milk in the fridge was sent to expire in a few days. Should he even get another gallon? Yes, dignity was important at moments like this, with so little time. And what if they had to identify him by dental records? He wondered if the skim was any cheaper than the 2%. Meh, did it matter, now? Yes.
Still, “One has to exit the building” he put in air quotes to the finches and cardinals at the feeder outside. They couldn’t hear a word busy as they were and would be on beyond the beyond where he felt inexorably drawn to…ok, that was a little clumsy he told himself.
What about his latex gloves? He could slip them on, open the door and leave no trace. Damn, they were in the car trunk. Fuck it. He stood up and walked to the door.
He looked at door knob, lustrous and gold-plated, and saw his face looking back at him. It was a little distorted. Swollen forehead, thin tapered chin. Yet, there he was. He was there. He rewound the tape. Maybe the movie, like a painting or life, had to be watched a few times before it all sank in.