Gay Panda is going out to eat with friends Loud and Quiet. They are wonderful people who would never hurl poo or abuse kitties, but they are on Weight Watchers. At restaurants they peruse the menu not to waffle between a delectable array of choices, but to estimate how many points each dish contains, and how many points they have left for the day, and if maybe they should just share a meal and get a beer, or sip someone else’s. This makes Gay Panda crazy.
I am not eloquent in person. A coworker once kept a tally of how many words I spoke in his presence. In three years, I had spoken 12 words. Six were ‘hi’, and six were ‘bye’. So I do not know how to explain that hunger is not the enemy and cannot be controlled by willpower. Your body needs to be nourished. Certain foods may make it inflate, and certain foods may make it deflate. But you have to feed your body, and to deny it what it needs to function is to make an enemy of your home.
Did they swim twenty minutes or thirty? Will the soup push them over the limit, or is it okay because they were under yesterday? Lady Friend may say something about primal should the wrangling over points go on too long. Lest someone suggest I show them this journal, I confess that no one, not even Lady Friend, knows that I am writing it.
I meant to tell Lady Friend, but yesterday she announced that I am such a lousy liar that I can keep no secrets from her, and turned this into a challenge. I failed her last challenge so miserably that I am resolved to win this one. The last challenge was about making a hoard. Gay Panda is a very neat panda addicted to the show Hoarders, because the mental glitch that makes this behavior possible is out of Gay Panda’s comprehension. Perhaps if I made my own hoard, I could gain insight.
Lady Friend said I could never do it, and then she frolicked off on a business trip for two weeks, and so I had time to surprise her. The road to a hoard began with a single clean sock placed carefully on the floor. I straightened out the toe so that it did not look so messy, and then folded it back because hoarders do not have tidy hoards.
And then that sock made me even crazier than Loud and Quiet’s Weight Watchers’ point wrangling. I braced myself in anticipation of the next step, which would be to put down a second sock, and add an empty soda can on its side with the last drops leaking onto the hardwood. Benign Poltergeist taunted the kitty that night and made her run all over the house, leaving tufts of fur everywhere, and I found myself getting out the vacuum.
Then I put it back. Hoarders do not vacuum. Nor do they obsess about a sock on the floor, but I could see nothing else in the room but a white athletic glow and specially flattened toe seam. As I watched the Netflix, my eyes kept drifting away from the screen to look at it. When I walked through the room, I stepped around it. But hoarders step ON their carpet of filth, not around it.
I liked that sock. It was comfortable and new, and I paid eighteen ninety-nine for the six-pack, and now there was a glob of fur on it. I could take no more. When Lady Friend returned and eyed the spotless house in triumph, Gay Panda may have childishly shouted SHUT UP and run out of the room. So Gay Panda must win this battle and keep the journal a secret to pull one over on Lady Friend, and present it at her birthday dinner in four months so that she can call Gay Panda a good liar. And a dork.