Today I went for a run. Now, I am by no means a runner, but every once in a while, I look around at all those candy wrappers and see myself in the mirror and I’m disgusted to the point of action. It’s either throw on those sneakers or sculpt out the Eva Longoria within – but I’m no Michelangelo and I’m kind of a wuss when it comes to carving flesh, so those Reeboks are lookin’ mighty fine.
Dread fills my stomach as I plop down the stairs. Who will see me, what will they say, will I notice the taunts this time? I step outside and it’s raining—sweet, juicy rain. With rain, there aren’t so many people out. With rain, my sweat and the drizzle coalesce into one wet kiss on my face. The salty sweat, acid rain, acid perspiration – holy rain – down my face, erasing, dissolving, streaming down and through the layers of grime and fat.
To keep me going, I think of you women. Yeah, you. The ones who don’t endure this torture ritual. I don’t know, maybe that’s not fair of me, maybe you do. Maybe you wake up at 6:00 a.m. to do your treadmill-abs-elliptical-weights-shower-morning-fuck-just-because-you-can. Who knows how you look that way, but God bless your charmed little lives, you’ve got it made. See, no matter how many times you’ve heard it and no matter how many times you’ve rolled your eyes, first impressions do matter. Time is money and looking for the “inner you” takes time, so it’s easier for men to just glance across the bar and pick one of you out from the herd of size 2s. Who wants to dig through the layers of fat and shame and body image issues just to find the beautiful, fragile sparrow suffocating underneath it all and clean it off gently, nursing it back to health so that it can be all yours, devoted to you for giving it a chance? Nah, like I said, time is money and we’re all whores at our core.
At this point, I’ve barely even noticed that I’ve finished my requisite laps around the pond and can start heading home. As I run along the now-familiar path, I become giddy with pride, thinking about how I’ll go home and strip down, pulling away the tee-shirt and leggings and sports bra and underwear and trying to keep peeling and peeling but these layers don’t come off that easy but maybe after I shower away all that hard-earned perspiration and precipitation I’ll see less of me than before. As the thought floats across my oxygen-deprived brain, I feel a cramp and massage my fist under my rib and try to notice if it’s a little less squishy than before. It isn’t, of course.
I get back, out of breath and dripping, and notice I’ve only been gone 20 minutes. You burn more calories sleeping than running 20 minutes, did you know? Hell, you probably burn more calories digesting celery than running 20 minutes, so I, despondent, grab the bag from the fridge and start chomping away, but celery isn’t very good by itself, so here comes the jar of peanut butter, but peanut butter goes better with chocolate and the fleeting weakness brought on by the pride in the sweat stains on my shirt and the desperation at the futility of it all wins me over and here we are back at square one, wallowing in the morning-after shame that will never come because who wants to fuck a fat girl, after all.