Good writing, with a strong point and with life oozing out.

On Seeing Myself

May 29, 2008

Sometimes when it’s warm out and I’m working in the yard sans shirt, I’ll unconsciously catch a glimpse of myself in the reflection of one of the windows. Equally unconscious is my assessment of this stranger: “Who’s that old guy?” Granted, I’m still on the low end of the BMI chart, but looking a little flabby, slightly saggy, and kinda pasty.

The other day, I dropped The Wife off at work, and headed home via 23rd Street NW. As I was passing by the State Department, I noticed a guy charging up the hill there in his running shorts and shoes. Shirtless, I noticed his general fitness and impressive 6-pack, and guessed his age as somewhere in his 50s. I smiled a bit and set my sights on that goal: in ten years, to be active and interesting and less flabby than I am right now. I know better than to hope for a 6-pack, but there’s no reason I can’t be firm and able to enjoy one of life’s greatest pleasures, the shirtless run, right?

It was too late to fit in a run for that day, but I assured myself that I’d hit it hard tomorrow. So I went home and made The Girlie and I a little breakfast: French toast. Which, I reasoned, just begs for a nice pat of butter and some Grade B maple syrup. Mmmm, and another piece, please. Lunch was a sandwich, where I indulged in my longstanding habit of eating cheese while I’m making the sandwich, such that I need to slice some more halfway through. Plus a piece to sit on the plate next to the sandwich. Mmmm, and I’d better make another sandwich, too. Plus Swedish Fish when The Girlie uses the potty (yes, it’s her reward, but her using the potty is more work for me, and besides, what reward do I get for pooping in the potty every day? I think there’s a backlog of Swedish Fish with my name on it!). Plus that chocolate bar that’s been on that shelf between the kitchen and the living room– a nice place to pause as I go about my day.

When I returned to pick The Wife up from work, there was another 50-something guy running in the exact same place. A little slower this time, and with a white T-shirt covering his rotund midsection. Oh, I know all about it, brother.

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3 Responses to “On Seeing Myself”

  1. Steve says:

    Nice juxtaposition of talking about pooping in the potty and a chocolate bar. Baby Ruth?

  2. kate says:

    If you get any closer to the lighter end of the BMI chart, we won’t be able to find you! Skinny man!!!

  3. Ryan says:

    Ah, the shirtless run, such a conundrum. Can I? Should I? I don’t look too bad. Man, it’s hot as hell out. What about my students? I frequently run where many of them live. They might see me and get repulsed. Could I blame them? What is worse is that I have access to all of the pools that these students go to and my family members are always inviting me. I’m not sure either party wants to see the other in skimpy attire. I might feel like a perv and for them a 34 old year might as well be 60. Yeah, familiarity definitely breeds contempt. Such is the downside of living close to where you teach.

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