He looked in the mirror and wondered when the wispy gray hairs started to show up. He didn’t particularly care they were there any more than he cared that his hairline seemed to be in full retreat.
Those were among the perks of aging and so were mysterious aches and pains and a host of other minor irritations.
Doc had told him if he focused on dropping some weight he had every reason to believe they would be once a year acquaintances and not the kind of friends who meet monthly.
He turned in a slow circle and continued to examine his naked body.
It made him feel silly because he had never been this guy, not even when he was ripped from head to toe.
Back then a couple of his girlfriends had asked him to stand naked in front of them. He hadn’t ever thought twice about it, he wasn’t shy.
But that before he had let life catch up to him and now he sometimes found himself feeling self-conscious.
He stopped turning long enough to accuse his reflection of being the kind of idiot who wasn’t smart enough to recognize that things had changed.
The guy in the mirror looked back and told him change was inevitable and that growth was natural.
“Ok smartass, that is just dandy. Keep telling yourself that and maybe you’ll buy your own bullshit.”
That remark was a perfect example of why holding conversations with your reflection wasn’t always productive. You couldn’t bullshit them and if you did it just meant you were good at lying to yourself.
“You are slipping into a giant hole and no one is going to rescue you. If you don’t figure this shit out soon you are going to be in a real mess.”
He nodded his head at the reflection and said he understood.
“The funny thing about this is it wouldn’t take much to fix things but it feels like we are already fucked. There is no support and no help coming from anyone but you.”
Two hours later he figured out he had sent out almost 2,000 applications.
“Two thousand applications and not one single job has come from it. That is one hell of a batting average, you might as well quit.”
Except the thing was he knew he couldn’t…quit.
He wanted to desperately. He wanted to get away from it all, take a long vacation and forget about all of the crap he was buried in but that wasn’t an option either.
“It only takes one. You pulled yourself out of the hole before and you can do it again.”
The hardest part about the self-pep talks came from the slipping. The longer and farther he went down his current path the harder it became to buy into what he was trying to sell himself.
He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, “you have got this and you have got her.”
The second part threw him. It was as if his subconscious had walked into the conversation uninvited and shared a thought.
“You don’t know that. You may think that, you may want that but you don’t know that.”
He shook his head and looked out the window for the moon.
Today he would ignore his gut and operate solely off of what was known. That was the most logical and reasonable thing to do.
“Fuck logic and reason. They aren’t your friends. They are just what you turn to when you get scared because you can’t identify why you believe certain things. Sometimes you go with your gut and you believe with imperfect faith because it is what gets you to the other side.”
He shook his head again and decided he was done thinking. Now was the time to distract himself so he walked over to his weight set and made a promise not to think about anything but maintaining perfect form.
One way or another he was going to find a way to stop slipping.