Jenna, Take Me Back,
I’m Newly Muscular.
Jenna, take me back, I am newly muscular. Everything will be different this time. My muscles are bigger and you will love me now.
I could pick you up and carry you now, Jenna, I think. I think I could probably at least pick you up for a moment, assuming you’re somewhere near the lower end of your weight range. I bet I could pick you up and carry you twenty or thirty yards at least. I might even be able to lift you over my head and twirl you. Would you like that, Jenna? Would you like your meaty man to pick you up and twirl you over his head like a helicopter, then toss you as far as he can? It’s okay, Jenna, I’ll aim for something soft.
When we’re back together I’ll try not to give the impression of silently judging you when you recite longstanding workplace grievances during moments of what should be carefree together time, Jenna. I’ll nod and make empathetic-sounding listen-y noises. “I understand,” I’ll say. “What an asshole,” I’ll say. Studies have shown that men who can easily lift heavy objects make better listeners, did you know that, Jenna? One study, at least. I conducted it. I was the subject. I listened as hard as I could but no one talked to me.
Jenna, feel my glutes. Feel them. Hard. Press hard. Press them with a screwdriver. Really. Do it. It’ll barely make a dent. Use a Phillips-head. Just try it. Will you prod my glutes with a Phillips-head screwdriver, Jenna? I’m sure it won’t hurt as much as it did when you told me you didn’t want me anymore.
Jenna, I grew my muscles for you. I lifted weights and drank shakes and sprinkled Creatine on almonds. Have you heard of the Paleo Diet, my love? It’s when you catch raccoons with your bare hands and eat them while they’re still alive. Also, you’re not allowed to eat lasagna. You’ll be happy to hear I’m not on that diet, my green-eyed girl. I love lasagna. You love it too. Let’s eat lasagna together at a dim downtown restaurant, me with my big new body and you just like you always were, except loving me this time.
I have a job now, Jenna. I sell cans of vodka. That’s what I do now. I buy cheap vodka at wholesale prices and transfer it to cans using a method my friend The Boz taught me, and The Boz’s girlfriend makes the labels and I sell the labeled cans on street corners outside sporting events, concerts and circuses. I’m an entrepreneur. The Boz is my business partner. I met him at the gym. The Boz’s arms are thicker than mine but my abs are arguably more cut. Someday you’ll be able to buy vodka from vending machines, darling.
Also, Jenna? I’ve memorized some Rilke. I’ll recite it to you. You’ll like that. You’ll like a big, strong muscleman reciting Rilke to you, I promise.
Jenna, I’ll go to the make-your-own-pottery place with you now, if you still want to. I’ll fashion you a salad bowl, and you can use it to serve my mom’s mayonnaise-free potato salad—it would make her so happy if you asked for that recipe—and I’ll grill pork loins to feed my hungry muscles and we’ll eat pork and potatoes and drink vodka from cans, and after dinner I’ll take my shirt off so you can admire my torso as I do the dishes. “You can look but you can’t touch,” I’ll say. “But mama wanna touch,” you’ll say. It’ll be a sort of game we play. As I do the dishes you’ll move your hand over my torso as close as possible without touching it. Only when I’m done doing the dishes will you be allowed to touch my torso. Then you’ll touch it and we’ll kiss and have sex and get married, and as I wait on the corner for his school bus to arrive, my son will point to me and say, “That’s my dad,” and another child on the school bus will say, “The amputee?” and my son will say, “No, the guy next to him, the muscular one. I’m going to grow up to be just like him.”
SUGGESTED READSIf I Were Built
by Andrew Palmer (10/12/2009)
Diversity In the News: Column 14: What Men Do
by Ellen Ferguson (6/22/2011)
Diversity In the News: Column 15: Pizza Guy
by Ellen Ferguson (7/18/2011)
RECENTLYVinny’s Joke Consignment and Pawn Shop
by Thomas Scott (4/23/2014)
Testomania: How Rational Are You?
by Janet Manley (4/23/2014)
Jeff Really Hit It Off With the Neighbors When He Rented a Place On Airbnb
by Bob Powers (4/22/2014)