The arrangement of one’s parts so as to hide the greatest amount of chub.
I shaved the other day. This was a mistake. I say this literally.
I’ve been wearing a facefull of fuzz for a long time now. Not a beard, per se… in today’s age of wool-faced, Rabbinical sheik the best I can muster is a wispy arrangement somewhere between a sunparched lawn and a shabby bichon frise. It’s been a half-hearted stylistic decision if ever there were one – more a lack of will than an act of it. But still… it’s been my look.
But then, a few nights ago, I decided to clean my face up a bit. What had begun as some light touchup work quickly unraveled into complete whisker teardown. I had knicked a bit too much from one side… so I had to edge a bit from the other… and on and on like this it went: left, right, left, right, buzz, buzz; trimming more and more from each hemistache until only a wee Hitlerian puff remained… bunkered, quivering and desperate, under my nose.
Naturally, it had to go.
My face is a freer place without it, for sure. Everyone’s very pleased. So pleased, in fact, it makes me wonder just how bad I looked when I had fur on my face. But it also revealed something terrifying: Good god have I have gained weight. Not an unmanagable amount. I’m not a butterball. But all of that weight lives almost entirely in an adipose halo around my face. Age has sent me shambling into an entirely new phase of decrepitude – jowliness. There’s more chin now, more throat, than my face requires. I have an overabundance of countenance. And it means only one thing – a dull thudding truth that hammers against my heart.
I have to fucking exercise.
I’ll do it. I swear. There’s a sweet muscle-boy who works at my agency who’s been just dying to help usher me into the world of athletics. He’s 23 years old – a fetus with shoes on – who “lives at the gym” and can help me “get swole.” Once I realized that adjective didn’t refer to my genitalia, I decided to find it charming. He’s offered to draw up an exercise regimen for me. “We’re gonna shred your abs, man. It’s gonna be great.”
Alright. Yes. I relent. Let the shredding commence.
I will buy sneakers. And shorts. I will wear them while I lift heavy things. I will shred my abs like so much boiled chicken. I will work my chest and trunk until it resembles a pan of muffins. I will feel the burn and shred the gnar… or whatever.
But until that time when I have lifted myself from the blobiform gutter in which I currently writhe and into the highest glittering strata of hardbodied swolness… I’ve got to do something about my goddamn face.
When I turn it, it vanishes into my neck, you see.
So for the next few weeks, I will posture myself accordingly. I will suck in my gut and photograph myself ONLY from an approved, Myspace bathroom angle circa 2003.
I will act thin. And work fat.
And I will appear, if not swole, than at least to have swelled less.
So shall it be written. And so shall I run.