He’s prone to lounging against walls or leaning on fences. He’s lean and just attractive enough to inspire instinctive trust. Probably Irish in heritage.

He’s Justin the Justifier, and he whispers in my ear a LOT.

“It’s the holidays,” he says when the moment comes when you either do or don’t order dessert. “Enjoy your friends. Share a dessert. Oh – they want bread pudding and you don’t like that? That’s okay – order what you want, too.”

“You’ll get back on track in January,” he whispers.

Today I’m sitting next to my mother’s hospital bed; she has a hot gall bladder and feels crummy and it will probably be removed surgically tomorrow – and didn’t Justin appear to me in the cafeteria a few minutes ago when I went to get lunch?

I was staring unhappily at a very wilted salad bar when Justin crooned from his pose at my elbow, “you’re in a hospital. Your mother is sick. Surely this is not the time to worry about zinc or sugars or carbohydrates. That cheeseburger looks pretty good. Why don’t you get that?”

So I did.

Justin can persuade me to surrender my determination and buy whatever I want – and the more I listen to him, the more gravity he develops. “You ate McDonalds last night on your way home from a day at her bedside in the ER. It’s not like another cheeseburger is going to hurt that much more. You’ll do better later.”

There are people who really do go through trauma who deserve indulgent treatment; a mother sleeping the day away because the anti-nausea meds make her drowsy doesn’t even remotely qualify. There is no excuse for Justin’s snaky, sneaky whispers – but I’m succumbing to them anyway!

Why isn’t hospital cafeteria food better? Should it be so hard to eat well AND deliciously in a place where, one assumes, we value good nutrition??

Let’s see – who else can I blame this on!?



One thought on “Justin

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