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Saturday, September 24, 2005


My Body the Traitor

In a few weeks, I'm going to be turning 35. Now, this is not, in and of itself, that huge a thing. I've known for a long, long time that I'm not floating in the Lake of Life, but rather on a tributary to the River Styx, so it's not like I've only recently become aware of my own mortality. What sucks about approaching the point of no longer being in my early thirties is that my body has begun this nasty campaign to make sure that I don't forget it.

I've never been a big one for--oh, what is the word...exercise? I've always done a fair amount of walking in my day-to-day life, but I've seen the inside of a gym maybe once since I left college, when I saw the inside of a gym not at all. And yet, I've never gotten hugely fat. I wouldn't say I've ever been pleasingly trim. Nobody would ever have looked at me and thought, "Say, he looks just like Tobey Maguire at his post-Ice Storm, pre-back injury physical best." I've always managed to maintain a certain flabby averageness. Until this summer.

This summer, I had two months off from teaching and I did exactly what I'd planned to do: I sat in front of this computer and I wrote. Actually, if I'm being honest, I didn't do exactly what I'd planned, because I had also told myself that I was going to run my dog to the dog park a few times a week and bike daily and generally buff myself up. Anyway, the end result of this chair-bound activity is that I ended the summer with a gut. An actual if-I-don't-suck-it-in-it-hangs-over-my-belt gut. That just pisses me off. So now I have to "run" and "eat healthier foods". It's such bullshit.

That's not the only thing my body's doing to me. There's also the back pain.

I messed up my back once in college playing in a rare--for me--game of football. It hurt for a few days and then it went away. It's come back every once in a great while ever since. But over the past year or so, it's popping up more often, like a pedophile who's finally spotted the kid he wants in the schoolyard or some other analogy that's less disturbing. And it's not like I'm doing things to fuck it up, either. I'm not reaching across the car seat to pick up a sack of lead. I'm not lifting wet sandbags to a higher shelf. My back is just spontaneously deciding, "Hey, I feel like going out!" I may need to get a new back.

And then there's the ear hair. It's not long and thick or anything, but it's starting to grow and that just freaks my shit out. I spent too many years working in nursing homes wishing the nurses' aides would tweeze the dreadlock from Mr. Humphey's lobe to deal with the idea that I'm going to have to start shaving body parts that I've never had to shave.

So I'm starting to look into alternatives to this whole aging process. I'm thinking I might have myself cryogenically frozen until they come up with a new formula for Nair that doesn't sting quite so much. What a glorious day that will be.

if you get a new back, it will probably just want to go out somewhere more expensive.
Yes, turning thirty was a changing point in my life, at least how my body reacts to life... Sigh.
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