Sunday, June 10, 2012

Cancer Humbled Me Part 2

It is a universal truth, that no one ever has had a perfect body.  But what’s to stop us now from achieving perfection?  Science and technology everyday are bringing us closer to our ultimate goal of bodily perfection.  Botox, dietetics, plastic surgery, precision exercise methods are all bringing us near to the possible.  All we need is the leisure time and the money to have the body we’ve always wanted and the life we’ve always dreamed of.

I wish I could say that the desire to be stronger, healthier catapulted me into action.  But it was sheer vanity—a photo of myself in a backless Issa—that startled me into submission to the fitness gods.  The pointy scapulae, the scrawny arms—the message from my clattering bones was “Give this girl some kettle bells!”  So I decided to attempt a body transformation with the following specific goals: to sculpt my upper body and thighs, and to restore some toned flesh to my bony behind, all to add (or replace) curves to my pencil-straight frame.  How tough could it be?  Celebrities change their bodies all the time.  From Cameron Diaz’s chiseled biceps to Scarlett Johansson’s catsuit-ready thighs in “The Avengers,” these perfectly cut specimens make it look easy.  Maybe too easy. For those of us without live-in personal chefs and trainers to monitor our every step and bit, I couldn’t help wondering: Is such a transformation really possible?

Fantasy or Reality?  Did you know sculpting muscle can alter your silhouette?  Did you know that altering your silhouette can make you 89% more attractive to people more than 5 feet away from you and 43% more attractive to people right next to you?  Did you know that making yourself more attractive increases your chances of making best friends, finding true love, and winning the lottery?  Did you know that your silhouette can impact the trajectory of your life so severely?  People with good silhouettes live longer, work harder, make more money, and have more sexual partners.  Their lives are obviously richer, because obviously more of everything is always a good thing.

Emerson said reality was a surface and the true art of life was to skate well upon it.  But Emerson had a deep understanding of artifice, a profound shallowness.  Now imagine a world in which we believe our understanding to be profound…o wait, you don’t have to imagine.  Pick up a fashion magazine, walk down the street, see a film.  The world is more shallow than it ever has been, bedazzlingly shallow.  People are idiotic, stupid, foolish, vain, greedy, and superficial.  We bleed out so slow, having so many band-aids, everything appears tis but a flesh wound.  Plus, blood is so damn ugly, and we’ve evolved the multitasking ability to faint while standing.

In this book, I’d like to collect the most brilliant, bedazzled, impressionistic drops of wisdom ever before rained like perfumed-sulphur upon our ears.  Rilke once heard the demand to change his life echo an alien history from an archaic torso. Now the sight of naked torsos, ripped out of history or flabbed beyond meaning, flash across screens multiple times a day, begetting envy or repulsion, always instilling the assumption that our lives are fucked because our bodies are flawed.  It is amazing that ugliness seems beyond meaning to us, as if it never had a history. We must change our lives.  What is there not a cure for?  O sure, many products don’t work, but we just have to find the right one.  Make more money, work more, stress more, you’ll have to try quite a few pills before you find the right cocktail, and then all will be gravy (but remember gravy is awful for you, don’t eat it). 

There is no smell we haven’t made artificially we do not wish to eradicate from our world.  I put my fingers down my pants and finger myself before being intimate. What if my pussy smells like my pussy?  How horrid. 

The sight of a man wearing a bluetooth repulses you with its robot-flavor.  Robocop is laughed at as a ridiculous action movie.  But you get off work and train and dream of a better body, a better body and then a better boyfriend or girlfriend who has a better body than your boyfriend or girlfriend right now. You take your cocktail of vitamins.  You try to balance probiotics, antibiotics, triptans, and uppers.  It’s just a happy medium ya know?  You just gotta find the sweet spot.  The logic of your dream ends in Robocop.  You won’t admit it, for no one, including you, o wise one, ever admits the end.  The end has no surface and diving is a lost art.  But let’s not assume the bottom of the ocean has anything but shells.

Through that time of uncertainty regarding my health and future, I turned, desperate, to many resources of reassurance: the face of my ten-year old son crying, writing poetry, drugs, or a head-clearing jog.  But by far my most enjoyable moments during those trying months were spent browsing the pages of VOGUE. All of the eye-catching layouts and interesting articles shifted my mind away from the difficult reality I was facing.  VOGUE reminded me of the power and potential of the human spirit to create a beautiful world—whether through designing exquisite clothes or writing fascinating articles—and gave me hope.  As I began to focus my outlook on something wonderful instead of everything I dreaded, I watched my body heal. Today I have been cancer-free for many months, and I continue to look forward to all VOGUE has to offer.

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