Nearing thirty, the body has incurred a modest gorbelly. This hasn’t gone unnoticed by the mind. Under current federal health standards, the body is teetering on the edge of “overweight.” Such was the case several months ago, and such is the case now.

The mind has reacted to this development with predictable results: utter panic. While the waistline has remained stable over the past two years, a strange form of guilt occupies the mind, a tough-talking drill instructor (generally applied to writing on a daily basis) often vetoed by fuck-it sentiments and other well-intentioned impulses of acceptance. But the conundrum remains. The mind, in some small way, has been seduced by the Western image models: the svelte, good-looking types capable of contorting their abdominal muscles much like a belly dancer. Or so the mind opines. The mind notes that Edward Norton looks damn silly with the developed chest. There’s also the receding hairline, but that’s another can of worms.

Clearly, much of the mind’s concerns involve a magical realism that the mind finds detestable at large. At the same time, if the abdominal muscles were tightened, then perhaps there wouldn’t be so much of a problem.

The potential, seen in John Stone’s fascinating and frightening animated documentations, has caused the mind to ponder a daily workout. The mind would like the body to lose weight, but does not want the body to resemble California’s current governor. The body, it should be noted, tries to walk to destinations whenever possible. It goes out of its way to avoid saturated fat, but a Brutus complex exists when the body’s visual unit spots bread and cheese. Both are foods to which the body is addicted. Both are bad for it, natch. Catch-22.

There are several possibilities: (1) The body can forego the cheese and the bread (and as a corollary, beer), though this would make for a life that reflects the Puritanical nature of the current political clime, and that seems counter to the mind’s contrarian instincts. (2) The body can exercise more, which would involve a lot of pain that the body would have to become accustomed to and would have the mind transmuting into an austere, nagging natterer to the body. (3) The mind can try out one of the many kooky exercise alternatives propounded by other unique minds. (4) Some combination of these points.

Regardless of these items, there remains the larger concern of where the body is heading. The mind is quite lovely, thank you very much. It is happy. It develops at an acceptable pace, commendable given the day job and the increased reading and writing and socializing. But the body has an altogether different concern. If weight has been gained, does it stand to reason that more weight will be gained? If so, then the question of how the body fights the onset of fat is one of great importance. When the mind considers the body’s receding hairline, there are two projected body types that the mind sees at the age of 40 or so. The mind, well aware of the sex appeal of Sean Connery and Patrick Stewart, recalling the sparks that attracted Billy Bob Thornton and Angelina Jolie, has no problem with the body’s head going bald and will not wear a toupee or toy with hair extensions. But should the body allow itself to go, the body runs the risk of transforming into a Jon Polito or Allen Garfield type. This may work wonders at an Elks Lodge meeting, where such body types run rampant, but then the mind does not anticipate the body wandering into congregations of this nature.

It should also be noted that a fellow mind and body unit (hereinafter referred to as “M&B(Friend)”) suggested to the mind and body (hereinafter referred to as “M&B(Prime)”) in his early twenties that there would come a time where desirable mind and body units (hereinafter referred to as “M&B(Potential S.O.)”) would start noticing M&B(Prime)’s redeeming qualities. M&B(Friend) indicated that this would happen unexpectedly. And he was right. After what seemed an existential tundra of false alarms and failures and misunderstandings, M&B(Prime) has charmed a few M&B(Potential S.O.)s of late, flirting, engaging them in dialogues in which M&B(Prime) is able to bluff his way through thoughtful conversations with greater success than before, and is having a good time. Other M&B(Friend)s have suggested that M&B(Prime) is developing concerns that are unwarranted and unnecessary, and that the body is not nearly the portly carapace that the mind has framed it as. The gist is that the body is, while not the hottest stuff, pretty darn nifty when considered with the mind.

Nevertheless, there is the larger issue of the body’s potential corpulence, which can be expressed as follows:

Body(Corpulence)(Current) + Corpulence(Additional) = Body(Coruplence)(Redoubled)

Body(Corpulence)(Redoubled) = Mind(Panicked)

Mind(Panicked) = B&M(Prime)(Stressed Over Silly Reasons)

The mind, as has been suggested above, has wondered why this should matter so much. But then the mind sometimes jumps to conclusions.

At this point, B&M(Prime) likes who he is. But it is with these projected concerns that B&M(Prime) plans on joining a gym next month, possibly to run on a regular basis, if only to negate silly stress levels(potential).

Even so, the mind wonders if these things are overkill. An Abs of Steel DVD would look silly next to his Criterion Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie. Nevertheless, knowledge is always welcome.


  1. Dear Mind,
    If the finger is used to prod the body, is there squishy stuff? If the body is moved up stairs, is there a failure of air supply? Does this extend to snuffling?

    Bad. The body will win eventually, but there is value to the mind (comfort, moving around, the relief of unpaid copulation, the absence of that nasty sound of thighs rubbing together) if the process of decay can be delayed by continual doses of moderate daily exercise.

    There is one consolation – if the mind becomes overly savage and fearful of the sniggers of women, then the body will ultimately be exercised and driven and pained until it resembles Peter Struck. Although, since I think the mind is American, probably without the nasty yellow rodent teeth.

    Good luck.

  2. You can rub a belly, talk to a belly, bounce quarters on a belly, warm your hands on a belly. You can give zerbits to a belly, dress a belly up, murmer to the belly, “Belly, belly.” Sometimes the BOOG’s belly is the most interesting thing in the room.

    On the other hand, welcome to the world of being a 13-year-old girl in America. Enjoy what you’ve wrought, suckers!

  3. Oh, I’ll be the first to confess that bellies are nice. In reference to self, however, the standards are stranger. And, yes, as the Hag notes, what goes around, comes around.

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