Fix Yourself Baby

20 Aug

grind yourself down on this bizarre machine
she says
and you’ll feel better
you’ll certainly look better
your skin will be smoother
life will be good
the back of her red shirt in large white letters:
swing your hips this way and that
align this pin with your knee joint
flex and hold for a second then let go
and again
fifteen reps
three sets of
exhale when you push
make sure you always breathe out
hydrate constantly
(she sneaks a peek at my legs
at my chest
my eyes)
and i fall for it
for the absurdity of it all
at one point there are thirty-eight of us
arranged in a straight line flailing our legs and arms
like desperate chickens
out of sync on these elliptical machines
seemingly built during Spanish Inquisition times
like rats in some sort of self-esteem experiment
i go because there is nothing else for me to do
this is my social life
although i talk or interact with no one
i need to step out of this house which is slowly strangling me
with echoes and fleeting images at night
and sometimes voices
there is some kind of weird comfort
in knowing i can physically dismantle myself
in the name of good health and longevity
yet break all the rules
or cancel out the work
by drinking heavily
sometimes smoking
et cetera et cetera
ad nauseum


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