Dear Fence Post,
That’s what they used to call me because I’m skinny. I was skinny. I mean, I’m still holding steady on the slim side, but there are shifts that make my fence-post frame more malleable, a hair over my plumb weight but losing ground to bulges, wrinkles, additional layers, etc.
Were I to write a letter to my body, it would go something like this:
Dear Body O’Mine,
You have served me well thus far, but really...WTF??
How dare you transform the skin on my hands into an onion-peel, thin, crepe-like covering that, when pinched and pulled away from the hand, stays there until I press it back into position. When did that happen? Why have you knuckles doubled in size to the point where my rings no longer fit? Since when did you decide to bulge my veins out? And, why is that bone sticking out where my wrist meets my hands? When did THAT happen, and why? WHY?
And, you!...you torso, you. Where have you gone? You used to be long and lean and straight, but now you’re shrinking so that, before I know it, my chin will be resting on my hips. And, speaking of my chin, I now have to refer to you in plural terms.
I’m pretty fed up with you, neck! You used to be one of my most beautiful features. Everyone said so. You’re still long, but now hold the kinds of vertical wrinklage that might be mistaken for deep crevasses found in Antarctica. Turtlenecks don’t work in the summer, and even if worn, now reveal the jowls that are dripping off my face where a smooth jawline once resided.
I’d tell people to kiss my ass, but it left a long time ago...following a path down the backs of my thighs until no curve exists at all where it used to, making sitting for long periods rather painful with no natural cushion on which to depend.
Last, but not least, stomach...you motherfucker...how DARE you create the kinds of love handles that a fully grown man-hand could grab, and like a frisbee, toss me around the room. I no longer look at my body profile in a mirror, because the stomach sticks out further than any other part and mocks me. It jiggles like a bowl full of Jello, laughing at all the sit-ups I do every week. I call it my food baby and that baby looks to be in at least the 8th month.
If I could trade you in for another body that was perfect and only 30 years old, I would. No, I wouldn’t, yes I would, no I wouldn’t. I’m learning to live with you just as you are, because we’ve been together for so many years. We’re like a good marriage (not that I have much experience with that), but we’re stuck together and doing the best we can. Stay with me. Don’t break or grow malignant thingies or leave me before I’m ready.
I really do love you!
Dear My Body,
Gosh, long time no see. But, that’s only because I don’t look in the mirror much lately. I see your lips and hair in the mirror every morning, but everything else is a blur. Once I get my hair jellied and combed and my lips properly colored and shiny…I must walk away.
Gee, Bod, you have done a great job for me for so many years. When you were young you did what it took to make me a national champion swimmer, the second-best female surfer on Kauai, and the funnest drink-your-ass-under-the-table gal pal at Midland High School. Man, you could hold your liquor.
College was a breeze for you. You were able to consume huge amounts of LSD, Psilocybin, Mescaline, cocaine, weed, Pearl Beer, and ‘Dirty’s-Come-Back’ double cheeseburgers with hickory sauce. Impressive. And, all of that with no more exercise than the strength it took to pass a joint to the Viet Nam ‘conscientious objector’ sitting cross-legged on the carpet to your left.
Ah, the twenties and thirties. What can I say? Santa Fe gave you the best chilis in the world, knock-your-dick-in-the-dirt Margaritas, and a ticket for casting on big movies with 16-hour days that turned you into a walking robot. But on you went…dogged and unstoppable. Wearing you down so that in your sixties you would be worn out and ready to hand the casting crown over to the next girl anxious enough to prove herself to the world. And ladies, you can have it.
Forties and fifties? Richard Simmons/Sweatin’ To The Oldies, Yoga/The Five Rights/The Fountain Of Youth (ha!!), burnin’ it with Jane Fonda, lifting it with Jack LaLane, stretching it with Raquel Welch, and faking it with Angela Landsbury. Oh, come on, those stretching tapes of hers were lame. And don’t forget cardio with Gilad. We loved Gilad and his parrot…and his mother on the beach with her Jane Fonda outfit on, and the guy on the right in the back who couldn’t keep his eyes off of Gilad’s tight little package.
I’m giving you a break now, Bod, and you deserve it. Yoga every-other day is all that I ask of you. I give you what makes you feel good. Souffles and Martinis. No need to thank me and write when you get work…..