I take off my shirt and it smells. I sniff my armpits, first the left, then the right, and they both smell. I stand in front of the mirror, shirtless, sweat and rain pouring down my face, ricocheting off me, and falling into the porcelain bowl, and I look at myself.
I am fat.
Not actually, but I feel fat. It might be the large bowl of rosé noodles with chunks of pork sausage. It might also be the beer: three very large, dark beers, all full bodied.
Which is exactly how I feel now: full, and thus fat, bloated, and uncomfortable.
My arms, however, feel strong, capable, and trustworthy, and I slowly flex my right arm and it feels tight, then my left and it feels the same. I make one, two, three circles around my belly button, and pull at the hair around it, causing it to expand beyond my pronounced belly. I rub my wet thighs and calves and they feel tired but stronger than my arms. They are two-toned because of the time spent outside this summer, always wearing the same size shorts. The upper thighs are pale and disappointing, while the lower portion are tanned. There is also a perfect sock tan. Men’s toes should never be seen outside of the shower anyway.
Finally, I unbutton my jeans, now cutting into my waist, and slide the zipper down its short path. I stretch the waistband of my black underwear after dropping the jeans to my ankles and stepping out of them, and look at my flaccid, hanging dick and the surrounding area. I need to pee, but realize that first I need to manscape. I also realize I fucking hate that word and immediately promise myself never to use it again.
My shoulders sag and it’s hot. I turn the cold tap, and watch the water quickly overflow my cupped hands, bringing it up forcefully into my face. I look at myself in the mirror, droplets trickling through a slight beard, dangling from my lips and the tip of my nose, diving off my eyelashes. I turn the tap off and wipe my hands on my underwear, forgoing the towels hanging by the door. I bend down, pick up my pants, walk over and flush the unused toilet, and flick the light in the bathroom off as I exit into the hall.
Back in my room, I sit in front of my computer, a blank Word document bluing my features, glowing cold and sterile. My fingers stretch towards the keyboard, retreat, pick up a glass of water long since warmed by the heat coming in through the window, bring it to my mouth; I drink, place it back down, and begin to type.
And out comes something seemingly banal, that then blossoms into something greater: me. What you will get when you read my column is exactly what you see above. Yes, that happened: it rained, and I ran, and was full of food and slightly drunk and I checked myself out in the mirror and I thought about manscaping and, yes, I really fucking hate that word. But what’s most important is that I recalled this but didn’t censor any of my self-report, not from my vain, shallow going-over, all the way down to my flaccidity. I want to be truthful, to make you laugh, make you angry, make you want to meet me and either shake my hand or punch me in the face. Perhaps you will buy me poutine.
But for now I hope you’ve enjoyed my simple adventure.
Just don’t think about my crotch too much.