Scaling new lows
The past seven days have been a perfect storm for horizontal expansion. Sick with a cold as well as crippled by cramps, I decided, in my weakened condition, that exercise – or, more specifically, movement of any kind – was out of the question. I also decreed that, in light of illness, I could shamelessly scarf down any and all sweets I set my sights on. And then, so help me, the Girl Scout cookies arrived in the newsroom.
No matter how many times I wash my hands, I may never fully be rid of the chocolate trapped like Chinese miners underneath my fingernails. I’m also still finding Thin Mint morsels in my bra, which must be the spinster equivalent of sand lodged in lady bits after a tawdry beach romp. So you can imagine my shock when, upon sobering up from my sugar stupor and becoming morbidly curious to assess the bodily damage, I stepped onto the scale only to learn that I’d somehow, against all odds and a few of Newton’s laws, significantly decreased in mass.
In disbelief, I unbuttoned my jeans, half-expecting to find smooth, unbranded skin where there always is an underwear imprint. Same old. Then I lifted my shirt and poked a finger into my gut, watching as pasty flesh swelled, swallowed and settled again. Same old. The numbers had changed on the LED, but if sage Shakira has taught me only one lesson, it’s that hips don’t lie. Turning my attention to the floor, I noticed the scale was a bit askew: at a 45 degree angle, equally straddling two particular floor tiles while ever so slightly touching the bath mat. Apparently under these precise conditions – and only these, because I’ve tried every other imaginable combination of scenarios – I not only achieve but surpass my goal weight. Suck it, hips.
I’m never moving the scale from this spot. I don’t care that I’ve stubbed my toe on it for three days straight and the Little Piggy Who Ate Roast Beef is beginning to take on the color of its namesake; I don’t care that it’s probably a fire hazard; I don’t care that it technically blocks access to the toilet.
The mass-produced, seemingly generic floor tiles, working in conjunction with the bath mat bought on clearance, somehow inhibit the force of gravity. This very well may be the closest I’ll ever get to experiencing the weightlessness of outer space. Or, more likely, there is an untapped but extremely volatile energy source under this exact location in my Cambridge apartment that, if harnessed, would allow deceptively Thinner Me to travel through time and rule the world from an uncharted, enigmatic isle in the Pacific. I shall henceforth refer to my bathroom as “The Orchid Station.” And when I use the facilities, I’ll call that “taking a Dharma Initiative.” Or “moving the island.” Or “blowing up the hatch.”
I may never know my real weight again, and that’s entirely OK, because what I’ve lost – my grip on reality a basic unit of measurement – is nothing compared to what I’ve gained: probably a few pounds awesomeness.