I have five jobs and a french fry addiction, so basically all that I’ve been doing this past week is working, licking animal fat off my fingers, and throwing up.
Just kidding about that last part. But the daily french fry consumption has led me to become more compulsive than usual about running. I’ve decided that if I cannot stop eating french fries two meals a day (very often the first is breakfast), then I will have to punish myself by running until I no longer have cartilage in my knees.
Most runners that I know are almost ritualistic about the act of jogging. They have specific times they go, specific routes they run, specific songs they listen to, specific outfits they wear.
My ritual is highly involved. I wake up, put on the running clothing that smells the least bad, give Pete the Cat three fish snacks so he won’t cry when I leave, turn on the Beyonce Pandora station on my iPhone, trot down my stairs, and head towards Prospect Park.
Then I let my mind wander. As I pick up the pace, and the endorphins kick in, I begin to fantasize about situations in which I prove my own greatness and importance to the world.
For a long time, my pet fantasy involved me cantering down a long driveway on a horse, followed by a carload of ex-boyfriends who are awed at my equestrian skills and the glossy length of my braid underneath my riding hat. Like Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind only without all of that Civil War, “General Grant is coming to burn Atlanta” nonsense. Just me, a nice riding outfit, and a rich daddy.
Recently, however, the “southern belle chased by armfuls of men” fantasy has been replaced by another, far more disturbing one.
This one involves me being filmed in an armored car in Mexico, having a great time. Suddenly, one of the windows is blown out by a machine gun, and everyone around me dies. I am wrestled out of my seat, and kidnapped by a band of ruffians who ransom me to my family. My abduction causes a media storm that results in my parents giving press conferences at the end of their driveway. The cable news channels are filled with images of me pulled off of my Facebook page, and the President of the United States pleads with the rebels to grant me mercy.
All the while, I am heroically killing my captors, who are punishing me by breaking me arms so that I can no longer wield sharpened sticks. Every so often, they film me sitting in a chair, my face unrecognizably beaten into a pulp, and release the tapes to my parents. These tapes are leaked to the media, and everyone who ever knew me is moved to tears by my suffering, especially my ex-boyfriends. Some of them even throw up.
This fantasy never concludes. Instead, it begins anew each morning, like a telenovela. I am sitting in a car, having a great time, and suddenly the window is blown out by a coked out Mexican drug lord, etc.
You may ask why all of the men I think about are “ex-boyfriends.” If the natural musings of my mind aren’t any indication, then I’ll assume your mother didn’t breast feed you, and leave it at that.
One never thinks that they have spectators to their internal dialogues. I assume that my abstract fantasies are observed solely by the metaphorical observer that is my own mind, and by that being alone (for isn’t your mind something separate from you physical self?)
But boy was I wrong. As I returned home the other day, I ran into a man selling puppies. I stopped, picked one up, and promptly put it down. It smelled strongly of urine. Two men, who were watching from from the door of the bodega, started laughing. “You don’t want it?” one asked.
“No, I do,” I responded. “I just can’t right now.” And then, to be polite, I ventured a “do you live in the neighborhood?”
“Yeah,” he said. “I watch you go running every morning.”
“Oh, really!” I said in my bright, “I’m so uncomfortable right now!” voice.
“Yeah,” he said again. “You’re always talking to yourself.”
And then the windows of the bodega blew out, and he lumbered over to me, and dragged me screaming, by my hair, into a waiting get-away car.
So here I am today, blogging with a broken arm, waiting for my parents to raise $30 million of ransom money for my rescue.
Are you crying yet?