A ginger that I slept with three times (and once was sober, which should count as two notches) told her friend that I was fit, to which I replied: finally, goddamnit. What do you think I do all day. If I’m not writing bullshit that no one reads then I’m working out like a convict.

I’ve got this friend, a human bulldozer. Well maybe the word human is inaccurate; actually he was carved out of a pile of muscle in the late 80s and then animated. One of God’s science experiments. He boxes, and quite well; he knocked a soldier’s teeth out a few weeks ago. He’s a professional trainer and he gave me a personalized workout plan. It takes 2.5 hours. Written out, it fills up both sides of a sheet of paper. Sweet suffering Christ. With that kind of time I could learn Korean, I could finish my novella, I could enrich my friendships by spending valuable hours with the few people who will put up with me.

But no. My life is 2.5 hours of picking up piles of metal, three times a week. Chewing almonds by the bushel as I lie in bed reading. I will choke to death on one, because I insist upon looking good in a T-shirt. Because I won’t sit up while I eat. Searing up thick cuts of chicken breast every night. The antibiotics will give me basketball-sized tumors in ten years. Also: stair and hill sprints to the point of nausea three times a week, because I refuse to make a single dietary concession. Being in a relationship is a nightmare; being single is a slightly slimmer nightmare. I sprint and feel the valves in my heart choking and stalling on tidal forces of blood gorging through it, like the clutch isn’t catching. Such a sensation should horrify me, and it absolutely does, but I don’t stop because I want those stupid V-shaped ligaments on the lower abdomen to be visible. I don’t stop because on Sunday morning I’ll have to make the catwalk from the bed to the bathroom in the nude. She pretends she’s not watching, but she is. Just like you do when she goes. There’s a precise form. Mine emulates the T-800 just sent back in time to kill Sarah Conner. A comfortable, loose swagger, like I’m not even aware that clothing exists. Took me months to hone. Right now a Bangladeshi family is weeping because the father lost his arm to the errant swing of an acetylene torch at the shipbreaking yard, and this is the type of shit I’m worried about.


Author: Fred Colton

Fred is just another guy online.

5 thoughts on “Priorities”

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