Smaller than I seem

March 10, 2008

I weighed myself yesterday. I am 190lbs; ten pounds from two hundred, largely muscle. Standing six foot and broad shouldered, if fine boned, this is a fairly unremarkable amount of bulk… in terms of distance from the mean. But the dissonance, the lag in my perception, makes it strange.

When I was 14 I was scrawny and awkward. Huge cheekboned, pointy chinned, with absurdly large glasses that looked to outweigh the 110lbs the rest of me comprised. And I had a mullet. It was roughly as unfortunate as it sounds. In spite of my slenderness I was strong and fierce, mostly immune to the social consequences my build suggested. In my mind I was forty pounds heavier, and implausibly imposing: somehow it worked out.

Around 17 I lost the glasses, got a decent haircut, and had filled out enough my alien features were more striking than awkward. By most accounts I was quite good looking. It took about eight years, around 25, before that notion really sunk in. I was oblivious to the changes, and didn’t understand why some girls were awkward around me. My inner AJ was still that fierce, but unappreciated, adolescent. Gradually that image became more attractive, but still slight, if deceptively strong.

The men in my family gather their bulk in their late 20’s. Almost all of them have a heavier build than I; my mothers doing.  At 26 I was a hundred and fifty pounds. Muscular, but willowy. Two years later I was a hundred and sixty. And for some reason that conception stuck: a sturdy slender medium imbedded itself into my physical awareness. Then I put on thirty pounds of mostly muscle in a three year span, without intuitive recognition… until it finally hit yesterday.

There was a mansbody in the mirror: this powerfully built adult that seemed heavy and reliable; capable of bearing burdens I’d chosen not to possess. This was someones father, someones protector…a man of substance. I realize it’s an imagined correlation, but greater mass seems to include broader obligation. It’s like my body decided to step past my inner Dorian Grey and pursue a grownup life on its own.  Disconcerting, but vaguely empowering. I figure one ideation is bound to draw it’s other. Isn’t it?


13 Responses to “Smaller than I seem”

  1. max Says:

    This is just to get girls thinking about your broad shoulders and muscles right?

  2. Cal Says:

    wait til you get into your 30’s… the waist gets broader than the shoulders. just ain’t fair.

  3. I’m 31 Cal, you were one year ahead of me in school.

  4. sabre Says:

    I’m not entirely convinced that it’s your increased mass that has you feeling growd up all of a sudden. You’ve been a big guy for a few years now, so you might want to think about what’s happened in your life more recently that could have brought about this change…

    There are far more powerful things in this world than muscle babe! ;)

  5. thekenji Says:

    I stare at my gigantic head in the mirror… and inside me there is a calling for a broader, fuller obligation to crash the moon into the Earth.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    You’re looking at it backwards Kenji. You need to crash the earth in to the moon.

  7. Lulu Malone Says:

    This would have been a great spot for that nude picture, AJ!

    (Nicely done.)

  8. engtech Says:

    Is this feeling what led you to start masturbating to Thor comics?

  9. baredfeetandteeth Says:

    I thought I was the only one who did that.

    Interestingly enough (or not, most likely) I had a similar revelation around the end of University. I was …22ish? when I finally realized I had boobs. I’m sharp like that. It wasnt a mirror, but an acquaintance who pointed the fact out, ever so gallantly, and in a split second I divorced myself, partially at least, from the string beany 14 year old I’d carted around with me and accepted womanhood. Or bits of it anyway…cue the indifemmerock background track.

  10. Mike Says:

    Hmmm, maybe you and I should start some sort of distorted chest image support group. I myself can never locate my nipples without looking directly at them. They’re just never where I think they are. It’s so surreal because I have a pretty good awareness of my body in every other sense. If I was asked to locate my nose as a sobriety test, I could be completely smashed and still manage. Totally sober and actively concentrating I’d be lucky to get within two inches of either nipple.

  11. baredfeetandteeth Says:

    Interesting notion, but I’ve no alienation from my tits these days, sorry to say. I wonder, though, perhaps you’re a genetic oddity and your nips migrate…submit yourself for scientific testing.

  12. Mike Says:

    “submit yourself for scientific testing” and let them have all the fun. pfffft!

    Day 1: I have marked the current location of my nipples in black permanent marker. Additionally I have marked where I believe my nipples to be in green. I shall check through out the day to see if any movement occurs.

  13. Stiletto Says:

    Don’t hold back, AJ. Tell us how much you really love yourself!

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