When people ask me, “So, Ken, how fat are you?”, which they do with startling regularity, I often reply to the stranger at the ice cream section at the grocery store of the employees at Del Taco who are still unknown by name though I see them several times each day, “Shut up or I’ll roll on top of you.”
… Middle age is not being very good to me.
Yesterday, we went to see Stephanie in her latest show at the Long Beach Playhouse. Now, it’s too late for a review but Vic and I both thought it was very good. Steph is a very talented, and funny, actress who is always fun to watch. (You know, until they put up those darker curtains…) The worst part of the whole thing, of course, was just sitting in a theater. Vicky has no problem with it; she enjoys it. I feel like the horse being led off to the mucilage factory, while all my friends are running the Kentucky Derby. I physically itch to get back on stage; it’s awful. Of course, in two months I’ll be back in school, so… oh well.
And then, there’s my supreme fatness… which would make for a good title… “Introducing, His Supreme Fatness!”
… I’m just saying.
I am totally willing to own up to my rotundity. After we left the theater, Vicky and I had to run an errand at the mall. We needed a new filter for our fridge. (One Path – All the excitement of a list of errands…) While we were at the mall, I thought we’d look for some new jeans. My old ones had gotten… well, old. Ratty. Worn and torn. I was in need. The thing is, though, that I’ve gotten so incredibly fat that I only know of one brand of jeans that – what’s that word? – oh yes, FITS MY FAT ASS.
But you gotta love Vicky for going out of her way to appeal to my vanity. Rather than saying, “Just wear a thirty-eight waist you supremely arrogant, fat, tubby piece of shit,” she took me to a place that sold 36’s that fit.
And I can still cling to my illusion of… well… who am I kidding?
Then, it was home to do chores.
I’m sure you want to hear all about it but I’ll spare you… THIS TIME!
When I awoke this morning, I was about to explain why I couldn’t run for office as a Democrat, because I’m no longer a Democrat, when the alarm went off. “Just a moment,” I said, and rolled over to hit the alarm. Then, I realized, I was awake. See, here’s the thing: Vicky had run for Congress. She had joined the race as the only Democrat and, when the Republican nominee had dropped out in disgrace, Vicky was unopposed.
And she won! President Obama was there with his wife… which must mean that Vicky’s “Obama Fever” is catching in my subconscious. I’m not ready to give my support this early but my dreaming mind must have other ideas… anyway, they were at the victory party. Barack and I were talking about the future of the Democratic Party – which, as “awake Ken”, can I just say is not a happy thought – and then Vicky was announced the winner. People flooded around her and I was standing off on the side. The first lady said, “Don’t worry. You’ll have plenty of time to congratulate her later.” But I looked at her and said, “I don’t think I’m going to wait.” And I headed into the crowd.
Suddenly, Oliver Platt (yes, the actor) takes me to one side and suggests that I should run. I told him that wouldn’t be a good idea, but he insisted – and Oliver Platt’s a big guy, hard to refuse. So, I said, “Let’s go outside,” and we did. And we were outside of a small business park, which was a strange transition but I ignored it. “I can't run for office as a Democrat because I stopped being a Democrat a long time ago, and I’ll tell you why.” Then, the alarm went off. I said to him, “Just a moment,” but never completed that sentence.
And I never congratulated Vicky. So, I rolled over, kissed Vicky’s bare back and said, “Congratulation.”
I guess I woke her because she turned and asked, “What?”
“Congratulations,” I repeated.
She said something like, “What the hell are you talking about?”
So, I put one arm around her and kissed her again and told her about her victory. Then, I told her about the dream before that. Vicky and I had been at home when Tim Clostio called. He said that he had decided that I was incapable of forgiveness and that I was too judgmental and so he would never speak to me again. I don’t know why I didn’t pick up the phone.
Vicky said, “I was dreaming that I was dreaming that we were having sex and then I woke up and we were having sex and then you woke me up.”
“We could have sex,” I suggested.
I thought it was a pretty good idea – so did Vicky – but then, I saw the time and my list of morning chores started ticking off in my head: iron, get ready for work, have breakfast, make lunch… I miss those days when you could just blow things off. When you could call in sick and spend the whole day in bed. Thankfully, I’m still at an age where I don’t need any pills of any kind. But… well, I awoke with a little bit of a head cold and Vicky had a headache and I had to start getting ready or I’d be late. We’re both still too new at our jobs to just call in, willy nilly, for a day of sex.
So, I backpedaled and went into the other room and started to iron a shirt.
Middle age sucks. Spontaneity doesn’t fade because we can’t do it; it fades because we don’t have time to do it. It becomes harder to throw off all of our plans because there are just so damned many of them. I want to act but I have one book I’m beginning to write, another book I’m getting ready for distribution, and school starts soon. I want to stay home and have sex (with Vicky, of course) but I don’t want to screw up this job even if it is for another brand of screwing. I think that Vicky must get awfully bored with that. I hope not. Hopefully, there’s still enough of the impetuous, exciting, young me somewhere amongst my tonnage to offset the tedious, boring, older me.
… I’m just grateful I don’t need any pills…