Reality Truck

Bodies Rest & Motion

Movie characters might chase each other through the fog or race down the stairs of burning buildings, but that’s for beginners. Real love amounts to withholding the truth, even when you’re offered the perfect opportunity to hurt someone’s feelings.

—David Sedaris

The best thing about love, if you ask me, is reallllllllllly being able to let yourself go. And the worst thing about falling out of it is the reality that you’ll have to get off your ass and get in shape for the inevitable prospect that someone with a less-forgiving eye is, at some point, going to reasonably expect to see you naked. It’s not a pretty thought.

Not that anyone really has THAT forgiving an eye, but in a long-term relationship, most people can at least be counted on to keep their mouths shut....I knew the end was near when I thoughtfully asked my insignificant other if I was crushing him, as I reclined on his chest while we watched tv. In response, he theatrically choked out, “get off me,” as he unceremoniously rolled me in the other direction. And that wasn’t my first indication that I was already on a downhill slide.

For the last year, my existence has become soooooo sedentary that the only injuries I’ve sustained have been cooking burns. No athletic fractures. No sports injuries. Not so much as a scraped elbow (an occasional scratch here and there from weeding the herb garden). Now I’ve gotta face the cold hard judgment of the dating world. I’d been on borrowed time for months, but bodies at rest tend to remain at rest unless acted on with equal or greater force. And for me, no force had come along that was greater than an Orangina and an Almond Joy.

Spring was an unmitigated disaster when I found out some things that REALLY should’ve come up at the beginning, not the middle, of a relationship.

But really, what could I do? Swimsuit season was starting and it was far too late to find someone new who could really withstand all that exposed flesh that summer fashion and bikinis bring.

Okkkkkkkk, so he fathered a small family in Laos in the 70s.... Hasn’t everyone?, I rationalized. And what the hell kinda girlfriend would I be if I didn’t graciously make room at my table for Phuong Do, Tuong Duy, and Le Xuan Khon?

So I stuck it out.

Summer barely even counts anyway. He traveled, I worked. Sometimes he’d be back for days from Uzbekistan (or wherever, cause I never read the itinerary) before I’d get a casual voice mail along the lines of, “oh yeah, they have phones where I am now. But I have jet lag so I’m going to bed.”

I can’t say I was any more devoted or attentive. I used to be. But it got old. And it’s not like he ever came back with any presents. I’m definitely not an “absence makes the heart grow fonder type,” I am more the type who’s easily distracted by something shiny in my peripheral vision.

Sure, I’d watch the news casually for signs of any plane crashes in any areas where I suspected he might be—but honestly, only if the Daily Show wasn’t a rerun.

So the writing’s been on the wall for a while....which means I’ve stopped eating and resumed running (the kind of activity I normally only undertake if someone is after me).

If everything proceeds according to schedule, the heartbreak should kick in soon and I’ll be back to throwing up ginger ale by the litre, like I did in my early 30s.

Meanwhile, I’m looking for a good Capoeira class.

My coworkers tell me that the routines come with very cool pants, which should take the edge off just how unhappy I am at the prospect of getting in shape. I’m not going to put myself out for any athletic activity that doesn’t include the prospect of an attractive wardrobe. In preparation, I’ve been on some training-wheel dates (and maintained as open a mind as possible given the absurdity of someone taking ME to a BALLGAME), but I gotta tell ya: them’s mean streets when you live with your mom and a big, surly sick dog. Who sheds.

There’s really just nothing about my house that says, “romance” these days—more like, “sick bay” or “infirmary.”

The REALLY sad part is, my Mom’s got more game than I do. She went to Disco Kroger at the end of our block the other day (so named in the 70s as one of the first 24-hour establishments in town—which, legend has it, turned it into a pickup joint—though I don’t know cause I didn’t live here then. In the 70s, I never saw a 24-hour anything in a hometown “where the police department still closes at 7,” according to my dad.

At any rate, Mom was evidently hit on by the elderly clerk who rang her up (or “…checked her out,” ifYaKnowWhatI’mSayin....)

Now, it’s entirely possible he was just being helpful—politely inquiring about her oxygen, and slyly dropping into the conversation that he just so HAPPENED to be a retired nurse....

Then he asked her where she lived.... And if she had anyone to help her get the groceries into…the…house....Before volunteering that he just lived ONE STREET over, and he had a break coming up, and he’d be HAPPY to go unpack them for her.

Had it not been for his advanced age and his own declining health, I would’ve immediately assumed “serial killer” or at a minimum “would be burglar,” but Mom seemed to think he was prettttttttty fresh. Downright flirty.

Or as she put it more pragmatically, “he was probably just interested in me for my health insurance…” (because if you can’t breathe and you DON’t have good insurance, they don’t GIVE you oxygen, you just stop breathing.)

Man, bass players and artists date me for the same damn reason. That, and the fact that I had a working phone.

Now that I’m so much older with such minimal assets, guess I’ll be stooping to all new lows.

I’ll be strapping on a tank and making the rounds of all our 24 hour groceries, cause Mama’s got game.

You’ll find me with the artichokes. n