Chester Rosenberg “should not” be flourishing.
Chester Rosenberg “should not” be more energetic than a dozen Jimmy Fallons.
Chester Rosenberg does not believe in should-ing on himself.
Where we last left Chester, he was beset by fast, ferocious cancer — the kind that practically grows back as you slice it out, roaring all the way, with a near-term deadline scrawled across its ugly face.
That hasn’t changed.
Neither has his heart disease…
…nor his coagulopathy (inability to clot properly)…
…nor his hyperthyroidism…
…nor his chronic kidney disease.
In no way has Chester’s horrifying health improved.
In no way is Chester concerned.
Well, that’s not exactly true. Chester has his concerns — big, honking concerns, in fact.
Chester’s concerns simply concern baloney.
And, when the stars align and the mercies of God smile upon him…ham.
Since Chester is, by all diagnostic measures, what experts call “fixin’ to die,” we’ve thrown the strict prescription diet out the window. We’ve thrown it out the window, spat spitoonfuls of spite upon it, and then proceeded to drive back and forth over it with each of our cars.
This means that Chester gets
a taste a double-decker bus full of our lunches each day.
Lucky for Chester, the Tabby’s Place staff is only about 50% vegetarian. Which means that roast beast abounds.
The most lavish beast-bearer is, of course, our fearless leader Jonathan. His hand goes down, laden with lunch — but blink or you’ll miss it, ’cause Chester chomps in record speed.
Ham hogged down, Chester’s big eyes — “those baby-golds,” in Ginny’s charming turn of phrase — sparkle up again. Next? With what shall I cleanse my hammed-over palate? Quail, anyone? Olive loaf? Ham part deux?
With his half-shaved back and his angry tumor visibly groaning out, Chester springs through the Lounge, a fount of life. His energy suggests he’s just been diagnosed with “immortality” rather than cancer, or perhaps won a Pulitzer, or at least reached the highest level of Cat Collector.
But he’s just happy and hammed-up, hamming for ham* like the fully-alive glory-beast he is.**
Yes, it’s about the ham; no, it’s not all about the ham.
Chester is just alive. Present. Rebelliously joyful.
Today is a good day, and that’s enough.
Just as it should be.