We believed in our undergraduate degrees, our gluten-free pizza and our covered parking space at work. Some of us believed in anti-aging creams while others avoided sunlight, stress, family members and rush hour. Some of us didn’t believe in any of it, but all of us knew none of it worked.
We bleached our teeth, straightened our hair, lifted little silver weights in front of mirrors and ran for hours without going anywhere. We counted calories, went on juice fasts, tried liquid diets, and even braved the Master Cleanse for a few days before passing out in the stairwell at work. Why? It’s embarrassing to take the elevator and get off at the second floor. (Oh, why do the Master Cleanse? Living on lime juice and paprika came recommended.)
We bought dogs and said we’d saved them just hours before they were to be euthanized. We gave them names we thought were clever. English Bull Dogs named Winston, miniature Poodles named Rhonda, Pit Bulls named Justin Beiber—just kidding, nobody got a Pit Bull.
We vowed to drink less and to train for a marathon. We bought the shoes, signed-up online and sat on the couch until it was too late and it wouldn’t be safe to run. Everyone agreed it wasn’t worth getting hurt because of our pride. We applauded each other for our modesty and celebrated it with drinks. In barroom corners we shared our faith in one another and each of our pending, interwoven successes. The next day we’d whisper wearing dark glasses over coffee about how so-and-so was losing it. Then we’d switch to a Bloody Mary.
We upped our dosage and felt better until we felt worse again. Then we’d wonder if what we were doing was worth it. We contemplated the meaning of life and health insurance. We thought about desolate islands in the Indian Ocean and how we could live off of coconut juice. We went to Home Depot looking for a good machete and we ended up leaving with seedlings. This year we’d try to grow tomatoes. We didn’t know anything about agriculture, but we ate organic kumquats and hadn’t smoked a cigarette in two weeks. How hard could it be?
We knew the importance of believing in ourselves. A blind man had climbed Mount Everest. Some days our girlfriends and wives called and asked us how to get home from across town. We’d tell them to Mapquest it.
–The Neapolitan Mastiff
Speaking of believing, check out this track by LA based Poolside