I was almost to the beginning of the trail when I noticed what looked like a man reading, sitting with his back leaned up against a large stump. He was just off to the right of the path, where a
tree had fallen the previous month in a storm. Volunteers had chucked up the timber and hauled it away but the schrubbery it crushed had not yet grown back. This early in the morning on a Sunday
there were almost no cars on the street. I had chosen this spot because I had assumed that I wouldn’t run into anyone on the trail. As I jogged closer to him, I kept my head down and turned up the
music on my Walkman. I would stay focused on the task at hand, and that was to lose weight, quickly.
A bead of sweat dripped from my forehead and slid down my nose. It trickled down my lips until it was swiped away by my tongue. The taste was salty and made me thirsty. It was 6 am and I had only been jogging for about five minutes, but from the dampness of my oversized white t-shirt you’d have thought that I’d just crossed the finish line of a ten-mile marathon. With every step, I could feel the weight of my body shift from left to right. I could feel my calves tense up then release, and my muffin top follow my stride. Up and down. Up and down. I hated the idea of being sweaty in a place where I may be seen by complete strangers, but I loathed the idea of dying fat even more.
Last Thursday I had gone in for my annual check up. The doctor I saw was a middle-aged woman, thin, with jet-black hair with a few grey hairs sneaking out around her temple. She was also married. I could tell by the red dot on her forehead. She told me that I was bordering morbid obesity and that my blood pressure and cholesterol were far above healthy a man of my age, being only 23. She asked me in a very thick accent how I could have possibly gained so much weight in such a short period of time.
“I don’t know. I haven’t changed my eating habits.” In reality I just ate poorly. I mostly enjoyed fast food, the greasier the better.
“You should join a gym, Jeremy.” She motioned like she was riding an invisible exercise bike.
“I would love to, but gym memberships are expensive.” And I’m too busy spending all my money on cheeseburgers.
“Well, you should find sumpting that you enjoy doing. Try going jogging, that is free. Maybe try eating some veggies as well?” she cracked an insulting smile.
I smiled back, “Sure. Jogging and veggies, no problem.”
So here I was, joggin’ my lard butt down this trail. I passed a tree that appeared to have been injured. Its bark was missing straight up the tree that left a smooth dark caramel colored strip of
flesh exposed. I couldn’t help but think of a foot long I’d had on a trip to New York City one time. Jesus fatty! You’re on a jog and all you can think about is a hotdog? I thought, shaking
my head. This is the kind of thinking that got you into this mess. Just one more tripleburger. Just one more super-sized chocolate shake, with those delicious oreo crumbs they dust the top with.
God damnnit Jeremy! Pick up the pace. How am I this sweatty? Thank god no one’s here to see me Thank god I’m single. Ah, I don’t have anyone to thank but myself for that.
I have always had a stigma with death, I am absolutely terrified of the idea that people around will die. Not just my friends and family or strangers and animals; I cant even stand seeing road kill. Sometimes I will go miles out of my way to avoid driving past a cemetery.
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