Doldrums

A Retrospect Pt. 2

I once said that you gave me strength. That every time I spoke out, it was in your voice. So when I left you in the past, I became lost. And this lost-ness is how I defined myself. As I gained weight, I lost the urge to dress like you. To seek out if you were still lingering somewhere inside me. I was a teenager the last time I wore a dress. It belonged to Jessica and she had left it behind in my room. And when I wore it, the comfort I felt shocked me. Scared me. I saw you smirking in the mirror. I took it off and that was that. I buried you in a chiffonier-shaped coffin.  

July

I begin a weight loss program. My meals are timed. 10 minutes for eating. A 5 minute break. And if I’m still hungry, another 10 minutes. I slow down my chewing. I allow myself to savor the food. I begin exercising. I begin tracking my weight. It’s a slow process, but the weight begins to dip ever so slightly. It’s not a restriction of what I eat, but how much I eat. And how I eat. In the end, I will learn how to stop myself from stress eating. I will drink more water. While I miss the laughter of children, and reading to them on a weekly basis, I am happier in my new job and all the perks that come with it. 

August

I begin to schedule walk breaks in my daily tasks at work. And I hold myself to them. Each morning at ten and in the afternoon at three. Those times are the trend, it seems. I find other library staff as I walk around the campus. And I encounter faces that become familiar as the weeks go by. My mood is elevated. I’m no longer stress eating or eating due to boredom. My weight is on a decline, slowly but surely. V and I hang out on most weekends. A sense of normality has returned to this COVID world. 

And I see her face almost every day now.

September

Our book club prep meetings begin. We’re working closely with another department, hoping that this will build a bridge within the campus community. This may help build our collection while also giving back to the community. The man has kind eyes. His voice brings peace to my heart. An old feeling begins to resurface. And I feel young again. A schoolboy crush that’s all.

I meet S for the first time. Our camaraderie begins. 

On my walks, I see her again. And the motion picture of my imagination starts churning.

During an LGBTQ+ Training, I begin to question something I haven’t thought about in years. 

October

We host our first Get Lit! Book Club meeting. The students each get a turn to discuss a book they have read pertaining to the theme – LGBTQIA+ History. As I speak about the book I selected – Lord of the Butterflies by Andrea Gibson – I begin to question why this book mattered to me. Even as I say, “These are the poems that I so desperately needed growing up”—Why do I feel that way?

For the month, I watch a movie day. And I plan to do the same for November. 

My weightloss continues. I’m exercising daily, taking walk breaks at work and walking longer distances afterward. I begin to track my water and daily activity in my bullet journal. I also look for new templates to use in the journal. 

An idea forms in my head. And I see her again. 

November

I don’t like the new bullet journal calendar template. I decide on reverting to the old one for December. I host my first program at the university. I put a pause on listening to audiobooks and return to the world of podcasts. I start The Heart from the beginning, relistening to an episode entitled “Movies in Your Head.” I remember missed connections on Craigslist. 

Our bathroom is renovated. Mom gets the shower she’s always wanted. 

My seasonal depression returns, but it’s easily pushed aside. My mind is focusing on everything that I can do. I’m reading more. Listening to more stories. Writing again. 

And each time I see her as I walk, a little narrative begins to play in my head. 

December

I meet a cat on my walks. Ash gray, and big. I secretly name him San Marcos because he reminds me of the blankets. He is the second cat that I encountered, but the first I approached. He allows me to pet him, which I do every chance I get. 

I have lost 20lbs since July, though I am now having an issue of keeping it down. I make sure to mindfully eat, but I may have to make some alterations to my diet. Cut out the fast food. Try to focus on home cooked meals, instead. 

I like the new bullet journal lay out that I have chosen. Some things will be carried over into 2022. I begin to track my mood, sleep, stress, and water intake on a graph. I keep track of the minutes I spend walking and my steps. I begin to prepare my first bullet journal volume for 2022. 

The missed connection post is slowly written, but it’s not what I intended it to be. This post needs to stand apart from my previous posts. 

As I pet San Marcos, he catches them in his sights and walks over to them. This is the first time that I speak to her. 

I begin to question my pronouns. My gender. 

Epilogue

I smile whenever I see you looking for me on Pinterest. When you window shop outfits I’d wear. As you read book after book trying to understand those little feelings you keep hidden so well inside you. Aren’t you a little too old to be this lost? We’ll find each other again. One day. And when I embrace you, know that I will not let go so easily this time.

Photo by Tim Mossholder from Pexels
Doldrums

“We can sing just like our fathers”

These people round here
Wear beaten down eyes sunk
In smoke dried faces
They’re so resigned to what their fate is
But not us (no not ever)
But not us (not ever)
We are far too young and clever

(Remember)
Too-ra-loo-ra, too-ra-loo-rye, aye
And you’ll hum this tune forever

Week Three, Day One of Zombies, 5K nearly killed me. My work out exploded from about 35 minutes to 45. Not a lot, I’ll admit. Just keep in mind that yours truly lived a couch potato existence for a good chunk of my life.

My legs are screaming at me for overexerting myself in running. I’m thirty, for fucksake. Age doesn’t matter, though. I’m rebuilding my body. But for what reasons? To look better naked? To keep up with my growing child? To catch someone’s eye, or the eye of a certain someone? I use Shaun as a reason, let’s be honest. I’m just tired of being fat. My knees pop with each step and my back aches more each day. The way I lived my life only leads down one path: Me rolling around the city in my Rascal.

I’m not morbidly obese, but I can’t say I’m average. I’m overweight, and I’ve chuckled about it in the past. I don’t let things like this bother me, though my performance in doing the simplest of tasks is becoming less and less – shall we say? – dry. I don’t recall a time when I’ve been a light sweater. I come from a family of sweat. Even in my skinny days, I avoided physical labor because of my sweat. But that’s the first thing being fat takes the blame. Oh, you’re sweating profusely. Must be because you’ve let yourself go. I’m not going to lie to myself and say losing weight will make me sweat any less. And I’m not going to lie to you about that, either. It’s just unnerving what gets blamed.

Last Friday, I noticed a new face at the park (though, I’m probably the new face as I don’t like running in a single area for all to see). A young woman jogging by. I don’t know why I feel the need to share that with you. She’s cute, yeah. But talking to her isn’t an option. Today, I saw another new face (and again, I’m probably the new face). A younger woman walking her dog. And here’s where I’ll end this post. I hate dogs. I loathe them. If I could rid the world of their existence, I would. Yet, with excluding the Mexican rats on crack, they seem to like me. Every time I jogged or walked by, that little fucker would turn course and attempt to drag its poor owner after. I’m sure it wanted to bite me. I mean, after all these years of living an unhealthy lifestyle, I’m sure my sweat is bacon grease.