It started out like any creamy slide in your thirties. The soft, autumnal, creeping follicular nudity of hair loss, the accumulated weight around the belly like coagulating space junk orbiting a dying planet. Some men get old, most break down. Clooney, better 50 than 20. The rest of us? We just flub and flab and melt and mutate until we look like haunted versions of our younger selves. Real portraits of Dorian Gray who have escaped from the canvas to invade your cities and towns.
But it wasn’t just age with me. It was misery. You can read people’s joy in their bodies. Happy people look happy: without furrows, shining, as if the sun escapes from each orifice. Unbearable fucking.
Misery does the opposite.
Stress, anxiety, depression and sadness erode your features. Worry lines around the mouth, creases in the forehead, the sagging of sullen cheeks. Bitten and clipped fingernails; sunken, tired, gray eyes. You are shaped physically by your mental state. That’s why I’m a blob.
Oh my god, I wish it was just age. I wish it was just male baldness and a soft belly, bones creaking more and more, organs turning to mush. But I am the physical result of countless mental neuroses, social anxiety, depression, guilt, years and years of accumulated shame. You eat garbage, it clogs your arteries. You think garbage is clogging your brain, then – it turns out – your body. Hate yourself enough and you can destroy yourself. It’s not an extremely useful superpower, but it’s better than nothing, I guess.
Blob by Eddy Frankel is available for purchase on books on cart.