good morning ~
(click the link / buggy sunset to listen)
today's track was made exclusively with a broken concertmate-500 sampling keyboard
i'm gigging in kingston, ny this coming monday the 25th - publicly available details are a little scarce right now but i do know that it will be at beloved spot lunch nightly, i'm gonna stay on the vibier/instrumental side for my set, and fancy pizza makers hare's hollow are gonna be slinging, so you know it'll be a good time. if you wanna come but need info just shoot me a lil message and i'll keep you in the loop.
you should consider shooting me a lil message anyway. it's really nice to hear from readers - recently at a bar a bunch of people who i had no idea read these emails told me they love it, surreal and satisfying. i like this exercise better when it's an exchange, you know?
Imagine that you are one hundred pounds heavier than you are right now. Imagine that you carry on your body, at all times, the equivalent of two maximum weight checked airline bags. Or you could imagine hauling around twenty standard bricks in a backpack wherever you go - sleeping with it strapped to your shoulders, carrying it up the stairs, stuffing it into clothes to go work a shift. How would that added heaviness change how you interact with the world? Would you find it difficult to tie your shoes or walk down the block or even breathe? Would you have to work significantly harder?
While you're still imagining that added weight, try to really envision how huge of a challenge it would be to haul your heavy body to a gym and start jogging on a treadmill. Even for those of you who are fit or run regularly, carrying an additional hundred pounds on you would at least slow you down, if not entirely prevent you from ever trying to run again. Imagine buying clothes or being invited to go ice skating, knowing how unwieldy you are. And then imagine that, whether or not the individual actors are aware of it, you are often judged harshly for this bag of bricks on your back. You're seen as lazy, as an example of something people fear becoming. Imagine ever being perceived, or trying to date, or performing for a crowd with this knowledge. Why don't you simply get rid of it?
I ask you to imagine this because it's truly how I live my life every single day. Statistically I probably weigh at least 100 more pounds than you. And frankly? I'm a little sick of not getting the credit I deserve for working as hard as I do to thrive despite the generous body I've been blessed with.
(to my less naturally svelte readers, know that I see you and love you - this is for you, too)
I've always been bigger than average. Big kid, confusing charts at the pediatrician's office, husky boy jeans, made to feel constantly like my size was the logical result of something I had done wrong, some flaw in my being. I crawled into that shadow of shame and stayed there - the way I look is reflective of my worth, doesn't everyone feel this way?
There was a point in my life when I probably weighed closer to 150 pounds more than most of you - emotional eating, disrupted sleep patterns, the constant stress of a volatile partner who loved nothing more than to drink ten beers and throw me out of the apartment (shocked now to remember how much comfort was available to me in a midnight slice of pizza, but who am I kidding - a slice of pizza sounds amazing right now, too).
It was only after the turmoil ended that I got a chance to look at myself and where I was at. Had my first physical in years and, for whatever reason that afternoon, I took the one constant thing every doctor has ever told me (no matter what the health issue at hand was) to heart - it would be good to lose some weight. He was nice about it, actually, contrary to 30 years of mean-spirited doctor consultations, but it scared me nevertheless. And so I started running. I was on the treadmill all the time, sweating like I truly believed my life depended on it.
At my heaviest I think I easily cracked three hundred pounds - I was too scared to step on a scale for the better part of my largest years, but I'd guess I was somewhere in the 310 pound range. I am amazed that I managed to maintain a rich life in New York City at that size, but then again when I allow myself some kindness I am amazed by all sorts of things that fat people are able to accomplish (we're really taught to believe otherwise, no?). After about eight months of running all the time, I got down to 240 pounds. Seventy five pounds shed! And still much larger than average. I'm still impressed with myself, with that tortuous and nearly religious dedication to getting on the treadmill at least five days a week.
It's not the weight burned itself that I'm so proud of. The greatest accomplishment - and why I invited you, skinny reader, to imagine yourself one hundred pounds heavier - is that, not only did I log those 1,000 miles of cardio in a year, dutifully updating my spreadsheet, but I also truly enjoyed myself doing it. That's the biggest accomplishment. I became unreasonably happy in the use of my body, often crying tears of joy in the crowded Crunch Fitness. A whole swath of human emotion - that of a runner's high, or the ecstatic maneuvers of an all-night dance floor, or even athletic sex - had been denied me by my lack of worth, my lack of conviction in the validity of my shape. And there I was, usually the fattest person in the gym, grinning from ear to ear. I started feeling true delight in my corporeal form, something I don't think I had ever truly felt before. Sure, I lost weight, which is what my doctor advised me to do, why I got on the treadmill in the first place. But it's the largeness of the joy that I'm most proud of.
There was a long break from running - COVID and a twisted ankle and no available treadmills, weight put back on from the comfort of my quarantine couch - but I have been really hitting it hard in the last month or two. It was no easier to start up again now - perhaps because I am two years deeper into my 30s. It hurts to remember that I once ran a 5k in under thirty minutes - I certainly couldn't do that right now. But the enjoyment is there, and so is the pride. Could you do it? How hard would you have to work to run five miles if you weighed as much as I do? How much easier is your life because you fit into a medium t-shirt? And have you ever in your life been half as happy as I am blasting corny pop music in my twelve dollar headphones? Consider this.