OVER THE HILL
If there’s one thing I hate, it’s the hill coming up Lexington Street from Main to my apartment building.
It’s not even a steep hill. It’s not even challenging. And yet it feels like the worst hill I’ve ever climbed.
I’ve tried everything. I’ve tried listening to music, to audiobooks. Still, the hill daunts me. Calling my friend Joshua on my cell and talking to him while I stumble up the hill is one solution that’s not too bad. But Joshua isn’t always available and he doesn’t owe it to me to keep me amused and distracted while climbing fucking Mount Everest.
I end up stopping frequently because my legs ache, to let the blood flow back into my muscles, to get my strength back. At least I never get winded. No, it doesn’t come to that. Months and years of nonsmoking have me protected.
My fucking mother is 80 and can run up this fucking hill carrying 80 fucking pounds on her back and then do somersaults in my fucking yard. She’s another story altogether.
I called her the other day and asked how she did in the heat wave. She said she went for a walk. One hundred and ten degrees in the city and she went for a fucking walk???????
I give up.
The problem is, she boasts about it, and that’s what hurts the most. I’m sitting here in the library, realizing I’m 48 and my body is falling apart, and hers is still intact at 80 and she’s doing her darndest to rub it in my face. To rub it in all our faces.
Every step I take up that fucking hill, I see her smiling face, her Rudolph nose, hear her way too loud sing-songy voice, I hate her I hate her I hate her with every step.
I think today when I walk up the dreaded hill, I’ll stomp. I’ll stomp out her boasting, her “perfect” body, her agelessness, her superiority. I’ll stomp so loud that even she, quite deaf, will be able to hear me. I’ll stomp up to the condo complex and yes–past the condos, and–over the hill. Because we all go over the hill eventually. And when I make that last step over the hill I’ll turn around and glance back to where I came from, glance at all the fools who are too proud to come over the hill, to those like my mother, and I’ll look upon them with true pity.