Monday, May 2, 2005

If Only There Were Some Other Way...

Dammit, I've gotten fat again... I'm not all the way back to 220 yet (my highest weight so far), and my cheekbones are still showing, but I look pregnant when I've eaten and I have to suck in a little to fasten my pants; last time I dared get on the scale, it told me I was 212 pounds, three pounds up since Christmas, which was in turn five pounds up since last summer, which in its turn was a good bit more than my ideal weight. Worst of all, I have breasts... and worse even than that, they sag: this simply offends my sensibilities.

The thing is, I know exactly what to do in order to turn this around and get back down to 200 in just a few weeks. But I don't want to do these things. I don't want to eat salads instead of sandwiches, I don't want to give up chocolates and cookies and ice-cream and toast, I don't want to go to the goddamned gym every day for forty minutes of cardio, I don't even want to take pills or whatever to stimulate my metabolism because they always make me grouchy, I just don't wanna.

I want the fat to just dry up and blow away, that's all. But, unfortunately, that's not something fat does, it's not in the physical nature of fat to just dry up and blow away... even if you leave a tub of lard or drippings outside in the sun, it never evaporates; it melts, it might even curdle or separate, but it doesn't go away. Fat has a cellular structure that can be expanded or contracted, but it's there, no matter what you do.

One can, of course, make body fat go away... you can have it surgically sucked out from under your skin. But it's expensive and I don't have any money. It's also painful, but I think I could get over that... dieting is pretty damned painful, too, though mentally rather than physically. Still, it would be nice to have a waist again without having to do any hard work.

Ah, the old fantasy of getting what you want without having to work for it. We all have that fantasy... the lotto fantasy, the rich relative fantasy, the genie-in-the-lamp fantasy. I prefer the genie in the lamp, personally, because (aside from the facts that I don't buy lottery tickets and I do know perfectly well who all of my relatives are and exactly how much they're worth) a genie tests your intelligence, tests how to get everything you want into three wishes. I think I would wish for two hundred and fifty million American dollars, exceptional physical beauty, and eternal youth.

Any self-respecting genie would of course make me regret those decisions almost immediately... it is the function of art to show us the error of our genie fantasies, and so all the ironic short stories about genies and wishes tell us of the hideous outcomes when we wish for something heedlessly.

For example, I didn't stipulate that the large sum of money would come to me by legal channels, so a good sinister genie would deposit the sum in my account by stealing it from somebody else's, preferably a violent and touchy mobster's; since I did not stipulate what exactly I mean by exceptional physical beauty, I might be turned into something the genie thought was hot, but maybe the genie is sexually attracted to slugs or gorillas or something; and since I did not stipulate that I wanted to be alive and young for eternity, he might simply turn me into a statue, trapping my soul forever within an insensate and inanimate object. If he was a really efficient genie, he would hit all three wishes by turning me into an erotically beautiful statue that was made of two hundred and fifty million dollars' worth of some impenetrable material, maybe a giant diamond carved in the shape of a beautiful boy.

So even if I got a genie, it wouldn't solve anything. I'd still be unhappy, because happiness isn't found in our things or lack of things, it's found in our selves. I know perfectly well that, though I could be very happy with a whole big buttload of money, I can also be happy without it. I could be happy to become suddenly beautiful, but only because I haven't always been used to it. I could be happy with eternal youth, and I can also find happiness in the process of aging.

It's all a matter of realizing and adopting the knowledge that happiness is the manner of travel, not a destination. I can be just as unhappy if I were rich, beautiful, and young. Ask any rich beautiful young person you meet, and he'll tell you how unhappy he is capable of being... not because these things made him unhappy, but because he's simply unhappy despite the things he has. He may even think you're happier than he is because you have something else, something he doesn't have.

At any rate, I need to get back on my diet and start exercising again if I want to get rid of these gestative appurtenances on my torso. It's just a matter of tapping into that will and dedication again. I have to want to be thin more than I want to eat the yummy-nummy crap. Because the simple truth of the matter is that I'm thirty-seven years old and I can't have both anymore.

Well, innyhoo... here's what I might stipulate to the genie that I want to look like... and since it only shows one angle, and clothed, the genie would do something icky to the parts that aren't showing, like maybe I'd be completely flat and colorless like a slab of cardboard, or covered with coarse green and orange fur, or studded with little red nipples all over that wiggle on their own, or someting nasty like that. Damned sneaky genies.

(Ian Somerhalder, my current favorite celebrity crush)

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