Dogleg

1doglegs

I am not overweight. But I have potential.

I weeble between sizes, threatening to burst some, to swim luxuriously in others.

I am a triathlete. I exercise maniacally. This does not cause me to lose weight.

I struggle to understand how my thick-skinned, saddle-bagged, slightly paunchy and mostly menopausal body can fight off the need for a new wardrobe.

This just isn’t fair, I scream silently at the closet.

This evening we are getting ready to go to Hospice. I throw on a comfortable skirt. Lilly puts on her “Caring Canines” vest. Delilah dons her pink pirate collar, ready to stand look out. Both are trim and clean and cut like body builders. Sometimes I check under their bed for free weights.

Lilly and I chat with a bunch of folks outside, then head to the dementia wing. There are a few live ones in there tonight. There is one man who worked at the Department of Defense who clings to a notebook, babbling about filling out forms. He keeps pointing to lists of nonsensical things. I think, It’s not the dementia.

We make our way into the next room where we meet Ron. He shifts restlessly in his chair behind his tray table.
“Can you see the dog, Ron?” I ask.
Ron looks down, pleased. He reaches to pet her. He surveys her four, then my two.

And he says,
“You have some REALLY nice legs!”
“Oh, well, thank you, Ron.”
“Really HEALTHY looking! I bet you can really RUN on those.”
“Uh, well, I do run.”
“I bet you DO.”
“I like bike riding too,” I offer.
“Yeah, I bet you can REALLY get up those hills. I bet you can really PUMP up those hills!”

I laugh and we move on. We make a lot of folks giggle, Lilly passing out kisses and nosing about in crumb-carrying crevices.

Then, as we walk to the car I feel my stride. It is strong and bears the weight of determination and hope. It has held and trained 190 pounds of Ridgeback. It has climbed the mountain of network news, rounded the cones of overbearing bosses and skated to the edge of unemployment. It is entrepreneurial. It is resilient. It is aging and fighting and girlish and confident.

It is mine.
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