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Reflection Upon Driving to Long Beach

By H.G. Miller

The sun won't be setting for a few more hours. Sunday. Traffic is light, even around the airport. Nobody's leaving today. Or coming home.

This will be my third trip to Long Beach in the last four days. First on business. Second for fun. This trip? Well, let's just say that I still have an open bar tab from the second trip.

Yes, I spent this weekend drinking. Trying to live up to my college days and seeing just what my body could take. My body, of course, said “no.” Didn't give me a level or anything. Just sort of stopped working four about ten hours on Saturday.

This has happened before, and I dealt with it in the appropriate way. Counting the cracks in my bedroom ceiling and trudging through my memory banks in order to sort out the events of the evening past.

Soon enough, the crystal-clear recollection of setting up a bar tab popped into my mind. Followed immediately by the void of recollection concerning anything along the lines of picking my credit card up from the alcohol vendors. The handing over of keys, the waves good-bye, the ride home. All of these I remember vividly. The credit card. Not so clear.

And so, I'm driving to Long Beach. Feeling like an idiot and hoping there isn't some clever barfly racking up Long Island Iced Teas on my good name.

(Warning: Unsubstantiated shift in thought ahead. Place dime here)

You know, I'm not old. I don't think so, anyway. People are constantly remarking at how young I am and how much of the world I am destined to experience. But, weekends like this get to me. I don't like having my body shut down as it did. I know what I had to drink and it was nothing compared to what I've put in my body before.

I guess my body's the real problem. Out of shape and out of practice. It's making me feel old and unattractive.

My body is my latest personal project. I worked on my career for a while. I tried to get into a relationship. So on and so forth. I'm trying to make myself better. Now, it's my body's turn.

Motivation has come from the button on my favorite pair of pants. Currently, the little bugger is missing, having popped of one evening while I tried to maneuver a friendly little scratch to an out of the way kind of place. (I'm told chicks dig innuendo)

Anyway, my waist is expanding. Has been for quite some time, I'm guessing. Only now, I've taken notice. I see the Gap jean ads, and I look at those guys. They don't look like me.

Now, I've never been one to sport a six pack, but I was always able to keep my gut pretty much out of the way. It isn't huge or anything now, but it's been quietly trying to take over my physique.

I must stop it. I must attack it with Arnold-Swartzenegger-Terminator-like dedication. I must buy the Billy Blanks videos, I must own the Ab Toner 5000, and I must become a card-carrying member of the General Nutrition Center frequent buyer's program.

I live in Los Angeles, for God's sake (and I'm sure he's perfectly okay with me using his name here). I live in L.A., and I'm single. Let's face it, I may not be old, but I've seen what wit and charm get you these days. Maybe the Ab Toner 6000 would be a better choice.

Maybe I should be jogging to Long Beach.

Instead, I'm lazing around behind the wheel of a car and trying to figure out where it all went wrong. I think it was eighth grade. That's when I started to get really into nachos. Fried tortilla chips and greasy, greasy cheese.

Yep, that's probably what did it…