I’m not a glutton. Not usually, or at least, not professionally. I take stabs at it with chocolate, I go overboard sometimes when it comes to booze and if the night’s going well, but on the whole, I tend to err on the side of moderation. Unless it’s a Brasilian rodizio restaurant, ’cause then all bets are off.

BUT, other than those times, I’m usually a temperate lad. I’ll wipe my mouth between forkfulls of pasta, I’ll lick my lips and set the glass of wine down between sips. I’ll pretend to hesitate before ordering another dish of chocolate mousse, or blush if I’m caught stealing fries from a stranger’s plate. I’ll rarely sneak into a restaurant’s deep freezer in order to scope out their reserve of tiramisu’s, and I’ve never, absolutely never, dumpster dived.

But man, tonight, oh tonight, the food, the endless piles of glistening and delectable dishes! The drinks, the bottles, the scintillating flutes of champagne, the wine-dark seas of wine, the chianti’s and cab’s and pinot’s and grey goose mixed drinks and more. The appetizers, the olives and melon chunks wrapped in jamon serrano. The vast terrine of lasagna, five layers deep, steaming and endless, a sargasso sea of bechemel sauce and bolognese, paramesan regiano broiled to bubbling brown on its endless surface. This lasagna was big, folks, like the size of an ice skating rink, and I was the Zamboni, trying to hoover it down, and failing, failing…

And then dessert. Just when I thought I was about to burst, when I had loosened my belt, untucked my shirt, slumped back in my seat, sweat damp on my forehead, stomach gurgling, out came the desserts. Apple crumble with custard and vanilla ice cream. Orange flavored flan. Huge silver serving spoons sliding and delving into them, coming up with forklift amounts to splatter them down on priceless china, served up before you, silver spoon placed into your nerveless fingers….

“But sir, it is wafer thin…”

Gurgh. I don’t know how I stumbled downstairs. I almost fell. And tomorrow, tomorrow is the turkey and cranberry sauce and pork stuffing and caramelized vegetables and potatoes and three or four desserts and the remaining five bottles of champagne. Round two, and my family is going to gather like a football team ready for the Superbowl.

There is solace right now only in reading, in lying supine, in allowing my bile and digestive juices to break things down into their component states.

Gluttony. It comes round once a year, and then like a mad gambler, an insane poker player, I’m all in. Wish me luck tomorrow. If I don’t resurface, you know I went down fighting.