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a soft belly

After almost two weeks of being ill and engaging in very little exercise; after a week of embattling the bitter cold and being cooped up inside—I cannot hide the hard fact that I now have—A SOFT BELLY.

Yes, a soft belly I have. “Soft belly! Soft belly!” I can hear the taunts from across the school yard all-too-clearly, even if it is still not nearly as soft as it was a year ago, I have no excuses—or do I? Can I cry and whimper about the imposition of circumstance or am I just doing a dance, a jig, skirting about the issue—of letting-go, having absolutely no shame, and overlooking my obvious loose grip upon self-discipline?

Why must this be such a heady corporal sin? Why does the consequence of what I’ve done, or rather not done, weigh so heavily upon my mind, that is, my shoulders, or rather—my waist?

Must the sweet taste of fresh apple turnovers, chocolate biscotti, barbequed pulled pork, prosciutto pizza and pumpkin pie all turn sour in retrospect, as I accept the consequences, and come to terms with what I have gained and what I have lost?

After shoveling snow for two hours yesterday, I took a lavender bath and sunk deep into isolation, so that all I thought about was the somatically soothing existential moment.

With my eyes closed and my ears submerged, I let my spine sink flat to the basin floor—and then, when I relaxed and released this artificial anchor and my body would rise, and to my surprise I felt what I thought to be my belly gently breaking the membrane of the water’s surface tension, I proceeded to repeat this sublime motion to feel the subsequent sensation for some time.

However, when alas, I opened my eyes, I then realized that my abdomen had been mostly above water the entire time and that the refined sense of difference was mainly a matter of transitioning from the warmth of the hot water to the cold of the frigid air.

Nonetheless, it remained a fine sensation, but I will confess that I was somewhat surprised to see the soft belly protruding so proudly.

So I guess it is time to return, it is time to burn all that winter-blue caloric consolation away, so that one some fine spring day I might smile while munching on some tasteless mesculin, knowing I had regained some discipline and no longer ported—a soft belly.

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