My physical decrepitude
You know things are bad when everyone you meet tells you that you've lost weight.
I know they're trying to be nice but what they are communicating is a general sense that you're not quite as fat as I remember you being and if I'm wrong you're fat enough to be grateful for the compliment. I accept it. Thanks.
There's one thing we can all agree upon. I'm falling to pieces. My hair is thinning. My teeth are rotting in my head. Last year one fell out while I was eating soft cheese. If I rush, I lose all feeling in my arm. My fingers tingle and I have stabbing pains in my chest. My eyes - which I spent a pretty penny on having medically repaired - are a blurry cracked nonsense.
I've tried my best to get in shape. When I did my back - Jesus Christ and my cliched ailments - I did some Yoga on YouTube with Adrienne. She was wonderful, but she was taking too much time out of my day. And I could never get the hang of balancing on one foot. I'd lean guiltily on a chair.
I bought a FitBit - which if you haven't worn one is like being electronically tagged for the crime of laziness and having it humiliate you every day with a record of how little you've walked. You get nagged to the point of going outside and walking up and down the garden path for five minutes just to up your average. The day it accidentally broke was one I will recall with much fondness.
And then there's the idea of a diet. I don't know what it is but as I get older I feel the urge to eat as many chocolate bars as I can. As if they might stop making them if I don't show enough interest. I also like drinking coke. Now, I know this is a habit. If I stop doing that then I'll actually go off them. I won't be able to stomach the idea of how sickly sweet a Twix or a glass of coke is. Just the way when I stop drinking for a month or so, the idea of a bottle of beer before dinner seems ludicrous.
I've never drunk so little in my life. That's one good thing I suppose. I still have a regular drink. But I just don't drink with the semi-alcoholic thirst that used to grip me. I'm a gulper you see. I can't sip. It doesn't matter how good the wine or how strong the grappa, I have to glug it like I've just staggered out of the Sahara desert.
So why this anatomizing of my own physical decay. The flaws are there. The habits I should change; the measures I should take. It's obvious. Cut out the crap. Take a walk more frequently. Hook up with Adrienne once more and learn to balance on one foot. Maybe I'll find my inner peace while I'm at it.
But before I do I have a Snickers bar tucked away in the cupboard somewhere which isn't going to guiltily wolf itself down.
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John Bleasdale is a writer. His work has appeared in The Guardian, The Independent, Il Manifesto, as well as CineVue.Com and theStudioExec.com. He has also written a number of plays, screenplays and novels.