I was doubled over on a curb in South San Jose after the 2008 Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon vomiting over my shoes. A woman approached me dressed in form-fitting running apparel.
“Are you okay?” she asked.
“She’s fine,” Milo answered for me. He snickered. He loved to see me miserable. I threw up again, a frothy rainbow of all the different Gatorades I had picked up along the race course. I was a child’s chemistry experiment, a homemade volcano spewing artificially-colored baking soda and vinegar at the science fair.
I had self-medicated before the race, unsure of my ability to complete it unassisted. As a result, I spent the final two miles vomiting into trashcans by the side of the road.
“I almost mistook that for my ex-girlfriend,” Milo remarked as the woman walked away. “Kimberlin had breast implants just like that.”
“How do you know those weren’t real?” I like looking at boobs as much as the next person. All females do, and don’t let any of them ever try to convince you otherwise. But I always gave women the benefit of the doubt. Unless I had tangible evidence to the contrary, I assumed they were real.
“I can always tell,” Milo said. “If they were real, she wouldn’t have had them on display like that. By the time a woman is in her mid-twenties, she’s gotten tired of people staring at her breasts all the time, so she keeps them covered up. If a woman over the age of 30 dresses in a way that shows them off, she’s proud of them because they’re new.”
I have just been given the key to the Knights Templar.
“Kimberlin wrote off her surgery on her taxes, because she claimed it helped her get more clients.”
I didn’t know you could do that.
“She didn’t need that,” he continued. “She could have gotten clients just fine on her own.”
Her new boobs probably slow her down while running.
Four years later, I would complete my first full marathon, again believing that I couldn’t do it without some form of performance-enhancing drug. A few months after that, I would be clinging to a job that I didn’t particularly want or need. Warren would ask why I didn’t just cut it out and do my own thing. I need the validation, I would say. I need to feel like somebody out there thinks I’m worth $xx an hour.
It’s holding you back, he would say. It’s slowing you down. And he would be right.
Milo drove me home. I stuck my head out the window and threw up all over the side of my Ford Escape.