Rendered Fat Content


Adolphe Martial Potémont:
Old Oaks at Bas Bréau (c. 1865)
“ … shamelessly incorporating our OldWeaknesses …”

I remain a change skeptic. I see clear evidence of change but perhaps clearer evidence that nothing very drastically changes. I remain who I always was, changes in context probably contributing more to the appearance of change than to any substance. I remain distinctly recognizable, even if my once girlish figure has disappeared into belly and sags. I still feel fairly youthful for my age. My OldWeaknesses remain if more contained than they were at times. My tastes have expanded some. My palate more refined. My experience clearly greater, but the unknowns still far outnumber the knowns, and my unknowables seem essentially unchanged across decades. I remain remarkably contained.

I suspect that my OldWeaknesses are my secret strengths.
They remain shockingly familiar, the most usable assets in my inventory. Re-reading my manuscript, I noticed repeating themes. Had I not seen essentially this same series of adaptations played out under different circumstances? It seemed as if I somehow influenced the narrative arc, perhaps through the simple force of inadvertent habit. I might tend to approach every engagement as I approach every engagement, producing remarkably self-similar experiences, though I could have sworn each was new. Each experience was as unique as they ever get, which might never be as fresh as I expected. One recipe for every circumstance, one approach for every dilemma, one way to get to the bottom of anything.

My many attempts to reform myself might have never worked. Certainly, I stopped smoking several times before finally kicking the habit. Tobacco-free now, I still sense even that OldWeakness firmly tugging what's left of my chain. I can imagine conditions under which I would tumble again, though I'm sure to feel remorseful just like I always did before. I have in no way transcended that addiction. I continue to intermittently tap my pocket to confirm I'm carrying my stash. I stopped smoking and dipping, but I doubt that I will ever stop checking or feeling that OldWeakness sometimes coming on very strongly, like after breakfast. My inner Gandolf sometimes aches to sit in the center of a smoke screen of his own making, contemplating as if immortal again.

I remain a slow reader, which I consider a positive attribute as if it renders me a more thoughtful reader. I likewise remain an abysmal typist, again a positive contributor to my careful constructions. I swear that I could probably craft my stories faster if I were to chisel them into stone. Instead, I make multiple typos per paragraph, scores per story—my two-and-a-half typing fingers evidence of another OldWeakness still hanging on strong. I was unable to make the leap from two and a half fingers to three, much less the jump up to ten. I still cannot remember where the letters are displayed on the keyboard. I must learn anew each writing session while destined to not retain that learning for the session after, just more of the knowledge I've never successfully retained. I rapidly adapt in lieu of learning, further evidence of some OldWeakness still hanging on strong. I clearly belong in this body like I belong in this life, the circumstances of my existence seemingly unchanging. The key to success might not involve changing anything but in shamelessly incorporating our OldWeaknesses, those familiar presences, into our daily routine.

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