This morning, I awoke sweating. My neck was wet. My back was wet. The window was cracked and our room was cold, but I was sweating. I know why. I had a dream, a wildly, fantastic dream that shook me to my core and made me reevaluate my current life. It made me look deep into my soul.
I woke with a start and looked at the clock. It was 3 AM. I heard something in the kitchen, and I assumed one of the girls had a nightmare and was calming herself with a glass of water. I decided to go investigate and quell any sleepless anxiety. I got out of bed, walked down the steps, walked through the livingroom, and turned the corner into the kitchen. However, it was not one of the kids. It was not Tom, either. It was a giant woman who looked like me but was not me. How could she be me? I was not alarmed by her presence. I did not feel the need to scream or to call Tom: I did not even feel the need to run for the baseball bat we keep in the closet.
She did not see me at first. She was standing at the counter making a sandwich. It was a Dagwood Bumpstead kind of a sandwich,with layers and layers of meets, cheese, mustard and mayonnaise. It was so big, I did not think any human being could fit it into his mouth. Yet, the me that was not me took a bite, and may I say it was an impressive bite. As she chewed, I watched her chins multiply and divide. Four chins then two. Four chins then two. It was fascinatingly horrible, and I couldn’t look away.
The me that was not me turned, and I saw her full on. She looked like a tired, older me, but she did not look that much older. She smiled and wiped the mustard off of her cheek with the sleeve of her already stained long sleeve t-shirt.
“Hey, can you grab me a Coke?” she asked. For some reason, I didn’t find this odd. I opened the refrigerator and grabbed her a can of Coke and handed it to her. She smiled as she unpopped the top and slugged half of it. She let out the daintiest of belches. “Excuse me,” she said coyly.
“Umm, who are you?” I asked, although I was pretty sure it was me.
“How are you me?” I asked. I mean, come on, I’m me, and I look nothing like this version of me.
“I am you in five years,” she said taking another gargantuan bite of the ridiculously big sandwich.
I felt a little sick. She was a good 350 pounds; her skin tone was pasty and her eyes seemed sluggish. Worst of all, she was wearing what could only be termed a moo-moo and where I now have two voluptuous breasts that men find attractive, there was just one giant sagging una-boob looking thing that started under the armpits and mashed together in front. How could this be me?
“I don’t understand.” I felt frightened.
“Well, remember when you used to like to workout and eat right?”
“Yeah?” I said anxiously.
“Well, you kind of stopped all of that. You found chicken wings and french fries way more appealing than salads. You started your 43 year of life abandoning all healthy living. You gave up stocking the refrigerator with fresh fruits and vegetables, and saved the bins for pies and desserts. You learned how to melt margarine on everything, and man, did it taste good.” She sighed, a content reminiscent smile, and then took yet another bite of the sandwich.
“I…I…I can’t believe it.” I felt dismay, pure and honest disappointment. Hadn’t I worked out just today? How could I just give up on working out? Sure, it’s the holidays and we have been eating poorly, but to totally abandon healthy eating seemed impossible!
“Well, you just kind of gave up, and I kind of took over.” She rubbed her belly and stared into my soul. I felt my stomach grumble. I felt she was trying to gain some kind of mind control over me. I needed to break her spell.
I shut my eyes and envisioned myself eating a salad, a big, salad chucked full of wonderful fresh vegetables. I visualized myself on the elliptical, riding my bike, walking the dog. I opened my eyes and decided I needed to take matters into my own hands. “I won’t let it happen!” I shouted at her.
“But everything tastes so good!” she pleaded, showing me what she thought was a tasty-looking sandwich.
I slapped her plate from underneath and the sandwich went flying through the air. Turkey stuck to the ceiling. Salami landed on the toaster. Mayonnaise and mustard splattered her face. I felt rapture as I looked at her. Unexpectedly, she smiled. Just then, she twirled around like a whirling dervish and suddenly the me that was not me turned into another me. This me was attractive. She had one chin, the proper amount of breasts, and she looked fit. She looked me deeply in the eyes and I felt a warmth penetrate to my core.
“I am also the future you. You have a choice. If you want to be me. You need to eat better and workout more.”
I felt anxiety and relief all at the same time. I had two Cheryl’s bursting to come forth, and it was up to me to pick the right one.
“I choose……” I awoke sweating.
I never vocalized it in the dream, so I want to vocalize it to the world. I choose the Fit Me. I choose salads and radishes and apples. I choose one chin and muscle tone. I choose a healthy life!