Saturday, August 25, 2007

a stone or two

There's an old friend of mine who I recently spent time with, and I have to telll you, being with her is hard. We truly grew up together, best friends from the fourth grade on. We when through puberty together and through our rocky teens. We spent years obsessing over our bodies, our weight, and every single thing we put in our mouths. I was always the thin one. She was more of an average sized kid. At some point we stopped talking about our issues with food. Rather than growing out of it, I would say it was mostly that we grew out of talking about it. I know I never really got over it.

Over the past ten years, she's gotten thinner and thinner and I have most definately gotten bigger. We rarely see each other, So when we are together lately I am always shocked at her size. She doesn't eat a whole lot and I know her so well that I can see how controlled she is and I always end up leaving feeling like I weigh 300 pounds and that I lack self-control. I feel terrible about myself.

'You can do better than this', I tell myself. 'You'll be so much happier if you do.'

The last time we were together we were reminiscing about high school and she talked about this one girl she saw for the first time in years, who's put on weight. People who don't have discipline disgust her. I know this not because she admits it, but becasue it oozes from her with every word. She joked about how this girl looked like a 'big bag'a potato chips', an observation that was both mean and unfortunately astute. She really does kind of look like that; puffy in the middle and lumpy on the surface.

For days I couldn't stop thinking about it; the big bag of potato chips. And it occurred to me that perhaps I look like that to her. I sure as hell felt like it.

So I was torn. I don't want to be motivated by the same adolescent neuroses that ruled my teens, but at the same time I think I let myself get this way solely to reject those years. To make a point.

And I realized something else; a strange phenomenon. The people around me don't want me to lose weight.

"You look fine", they say. I tell them I may look fine, but if I lost 20 or 30 I'd look great.

"You don't have that kind of weight to lose", they say.

But the numbers don't lie. I think people are somehow threatened that I might look better than fine. They like me as their supporting actor. They like me in the periphery. And I guess I do too, to some extent. Something has kept me here for all of this time. Maybe it's the safety in never fully putting myself out there and therefore never running the risk of being left out in the cold. That feeling has always been a major limiting factor in my life.

I could have taken control back a long time ago rather than facing this now, in my thirties. I went from not eating in my teens to letting myself go, just a little. Just enough. While I'm not really overweight, in the last 15 years I've chosen to err on the side of average.

So lately, approaching my 33rd birthday, I've been running every day, playing tennis, eating less and I feel physically great. Even just a couple of pounds is enough to make a noticeable difference, but I'm working toward 20 for now; a birthday present to myself.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

I could care less

I'm not checking facebook. I realize I don't really care right now to see how other people are living their lives. I almost checked because for a minute I thought I cared, but I don't.

I care instead about getting a run in before I meet my brother for a movie.

I care that I played a decent game of tennis with my new visor, that keeps the sun off my face and my hair from getting in my eyes.

I care that I am eating less.

That I had a great day at the hospital.

That Harry, without intentionally being insensitive [and oh how insensitive it was], jokingly asked me to marry him three times the other night at dinner [long story] and I thought I would fall apart once I got home, but the crisis never came. I was fine.

I am fine.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

boob shot

I hurt my back at work last weekend and I knew I shouldn't be playing tennis so soon with all of the sporadic twisting, but it was perfect weather, I needed the exercise, and I wasn't going to sit at home and watch television, so I decided to give it a try. I warmed up and stretched carefully but as soon as I started, I knew I should probably stop. It was hurting with every swing of the racket. I was pissed, partly due to the discomfort and partly because I lugged my shit all the way to work and then to the court for nothing.

A few minutes in, I served a hard one. Lana was wearing dark glasses so I didn't realize she wasn't looking.

As the ball hurdled toward her she made no move to return the serve. It was too late by the time I realized what was happening, and the ball hit her square in her left breast.

"I'm so sorry", I called across the court. "Are you ok?"

Far from the kind of girl to lose her temper, I was surprised when she froze and then turned to me slowly.

"Maybe if I wasn't the only one picking up balls, I would have seen that coming".

This was in reference to the remark I made a few minutes before about how I was impressed she was actually moving her ass to pick up some balls as I usually have to feed them to her one at a time.

I felt bad that I hit her and so I was probably defensive. And my back hurt. And I knew I shouldn't have bothered coming out to play. I guess I kind of lost it.

"Are you KIDDING me? I just accidentally hit you and you're giving me attitude? You know what, I don't need your shit."

I zipped my racket up and started to gather my things. As I was doing it I knew I was being ridiculous, but I couldn't stop myself. She started to walk toward me.

"Are you really leaving?"

"Yes", I answered, but silently adding, 'unless you say the right thing, even though I should probably stop playing to save my back, and yet I want to play'.

I continued aloud, "I'm not in the mood for this. You would never have said that if it was anyone else."

She stood there for a moment, before she spoke.

"You're right, but that's because I feel close enough to you that I CAN say that. But I shouldn't have given you attitude. I was just reacting to getting hit."

"Well obviously I didn't do it on purpose."

There was a long pause.

"I'm sorry for hurting your boob", I said, unzipping my racket.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I think my ipod hates me

The battery on my ipod died while I was on the treadmill. When I got home I took it out of my bag to re-charge it and on the screen, in an over-sized, uneven and entirely unfamiliar font, it was written,


Trampass? I know, it's hard to believe. You wouldn't expect such a strong opinion from an electronic.

Well, feast your eyes:

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

hope in a winter hat

I made my way into the bowels of the city. The subway station was lined thick with people in their business casual. I walked to my spot, not once taking note of a face. In my peripheral vision I saw two forms leaning in to each other, the girl standing on her tip toes, helpless, her forehead pressed into his chest. I closed my eyes, my back against the wall. The tiles were damp with humidity and it occurred to me how dirty they must be. I pulled away, standing straight.

The air was thick, even at 0800 hrs. A stout black women to my left fanned herself with a newspaper. She looked over at me and rolled her eyes, looking for someone to share in her distaste for the temperature.

But I'm not a part of this. None of it. I'm somewhere else.

You're not going to pin me down, I wanted to tell her.

Instead I looked forward and let my vision blur everything into a putty grey.

Later, on the way home I bought a winter hat. In August. A big cable knit rasta hat and I bought $62.34 cents worth of vitamins to ward off cancer. I almost laughed out loud in line at the pharmacy. All I am going on is a list I printed out from the internet based on [at best] loose evidence, but that's nothing. Where it gets funny is that in this state of mind, I'm buying vitamins.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

wild horses could drive me away

Why do the people in my building have to be such a bunch of losers? I mean seriously, it is a Sunday night of the long weekend, which is pretty much a Saturday night for all intents and purposes, and I [who I already know is a loser] sorted my dirty clothes and dragged them all the way down to the basement of my building only to find all the machines in use AND a line-up. At 10 PM. What the hell is wrong with you people?

The border was a nightmare. Almost three hours to get into the US, a solid hour out. The only reason Lana and I went there was so that we could spend the weekend with our girlfriend from NYC who was there visiting relatives. I can't believe that people go through that just to shop. Seriously? Too much.

Buffalo is a strange city. In an interesting sort of way. There were a lot of old run down brick buildings in the downtown core, some with faded advertisements painted on them. It's not beautiful by any stretch of the imagination but it is certainly interesting. My camera battery died before I got any shots of the city. I just googled it to see if I could find a good visual representation, but apparently few people are inspired enough to take pics.

So I leave you with a photograph of feral horses on the beaches of Sable Island, off the coast of Nova Scotia. Probably one of the more interesting places I'll never go. Not because I don't want to, but because you're not allowed unless you're a marine biologist or some shit.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

buffalo bills

I'm off to Buffalo. Gotta love Westeren New York. Try not to be jealous.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

a little Shoshanna

I recently read something on another blog that frightened me. It was how someday, eventually, someone you know is GOING to read your blog. The thought of that possibility horrifies me to no end.

It scared me so much that this afternoon I wanted to immediately remove my post from the other day; the one about the problem I have with my friend "Shoshanna". I wanted to go back into my archives and start clearing things out. I've wanted to do that a million times, but today I got the sense that I was on borrowed time.

Maybe part of it is that I'm not so anonymous anymore. At least not with my blogger friends. Another big piece is the reason I started this blog under an assumed name. I am a coward. Then there is the old saying, 'if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all' and I am a sucker for anything that plays on guilt. And so I feel guilty. A good person would not write things like that about their friends, would they? Probably not, but maybe my goal in life isn't to win The Best Girl in the World Contest.

But I imagine all of us say all kinds of things. Beyond those little nagging fears and insecurities I like to think there is a purpose to all of this. I think any kind of writing, without the veil of anonymity, is a brave act. Unimaginabley brave.

In reality there is no "Shoshanna", but there is a little Shoshanna in everyone, which is the point of all of this I think.

Shoshanna is one of my characters, based on someone in my life. I imagine if she read my blog she would figure it out and she would be upset with me.

And I would like to imagine that I would be strong and brave enough, like so many writers I admire have, to live to tell the tale.