Idle cutlery. Photo by Mark A. Brown
We never say, “You were what you ate.” We are a people of the present, and, mercifully, death ends the reliance on the adage. As the eater no longer is bound by earthly appetite, our duty to codify a diner by her diet, a drinker by his drafts is likewise relieved. The end of temporal things takes everybody off the stinking hook. The warnings of the past lose their nerve in the face of extinction, however frustrating or untimely the loss, and as often as not, the drunken uncle and the sated aunt become posterity’s martyrs to appetite, their sins forgiven, their souls alive, their lusts an almost endearing thing of the sordid past.