by Kate Atkinson
The Little Giant of Aberdeen County
by Tiffany Baker
The Book of Non-Electric Lighting
by Tim Madson
The door to the Weight Watchers meeting is at the back of the building, hidden from the the road. I step from the darkness of the November night into to a bright set of rooms. To the left, an area with fold-out chairs lined up for a meeting. To the right, a check-in desk reminiscent of an airport with enough computers for three. In front of the desk (cue dire music): the scales. Down the center is a hallway, packed mostly with women queuing up to be weighed.
I run back to the bathroom at the back. I have to pee, and I don't want those ounces counted on my weigh in. As I stand in line, some people chat (some folks have been coming a long time and know each other well). Others, like me, try to ignore the fact that we are standing in line preparing to have our body sizes judged.
As I get closer, I can hear the discussions over the desk. No one but the workers can see the weights, but they say things like, "You lost a pound! Good job!!" and "You're higher than last week. Were you expecting that?"
My turn comes. I take off my shoes and my sweater. (I would have stripped naked if I weren't shy and worried about getting arrested.) I want more than anything to get that pat on the fat that says I'm down even an ounce. When I get the pronouncement, "You lost a half a pound. Good job!" I jump off the scale, grinning ear to ear, relieved that slip-up with that Hershey bar didn't break me.I'm a bit embarrassed I need someone looking over my shoulder to manage weight loss, but there you have it. If my resolution is to eat carrots, I guess I need a stick to go along with them.