Cheeseburger In Paradise…

“It will take a long time for your mouth to open all the way again.” This doctor is a stand in for my regular cancer guy. He assures me my tiny mouth opening won’t stay miniscule forever. Again, it’s a gift from radiation. Kind of like a boomerang, it just keeps swinging around to whack you in the head again and again.
No matter—last week I ate a cheeseburger. Angels sang and there was dancing. Kittens scratched their heads in confusion. It began innocently enough.

I meet Middle Chicken at the mall. When cancer digests your ass, your shorts fall off. As dresses are my go-to choice, falling shorts is rarely a problem. But, alas, our plans are to spend the fourth in Telluride. Hiking about in a floral summer mini is a Glamour Don’t. A strong wind might elicit fellow hikers to wonder, “Where is that girl’s ass?”

The master plan is to gain back a portion of the weight so spending a lot is not on the list. We find ourselves rifling through the stacks at H & M for hikeable shorts that do not label me “outdoorsy,” or worse, one of those girls—you know with armpit hair and actual hiking boots. Pfft.

Success is in the air, and all for fourteen dollars. A tan offering, lightweight without too many pocket for knives and God knows what else. No cargo hikes for this girl. It’s bad enough my white tennies might touch mud and t-shirts may join the fray. Not on this girl for heaven sake. But I have been in the woods before—t-shirts abound. Shorts with tennis shoes are bad enough. God forbid it rains and I’m forced to search for head gear. There is a reason Scottsdale summons some girls. Three months of heat for nine months of humidity free hair placement makes our pulse quicken.

“Mom, there’s a Shake Shack here. Let’s go,” says Middle Chicken, still reeling at my purchase.

“I can’t eat there,” I protest. “Nobody wants to see that in public.”

“We’ll take it home,” she offers and off we go to see if it is, in fact, time for a cheeseburger in paradise. Duchess Dolls recall it is the secret food of which I’ve dreamed since the insertion of Gus, the asshat feeding tube. Since his removal, my mouth still will not open wide enough to accommodate most foods but tiny bites suffice.

Seated comfortably in a favorite chair, Shake Shack burger spread across my lap, I examine the sandwich. My evil eye does not shrink it to tiny tot size. I take a bite tilting the burger up and biting half of the width from the bottom and then the other half of the width from the top. It requires about an hour, but an entire cheeseburger does make its way down my gullet.

Two cats sit quizzical, perched on the ottoman in front of me. So used to ingesting the remainder of anything too large for my mouth, they feel gypped. I can see it on their little faces.

I can’t hear what they say. I’m too wrapped up in the choirs of angels and the rejoicing to do anything but sit back, fat and happy. Haven’t grown an ass yet but a few more visits to Shake Shack should do the trick.


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