Calculations by humour
By Nancy Hightower
My FitBit reports I’ve taken 3,975 steps today and I swear to make 5,000 before midnight, even if means walking around my block enough times to frighten the neighbors. I consumed the proper 1200 calories for weight loss, although 600 of them came from ice cream and another 100 from a shot of whisky. Starting tomorrow, I can only have 80 grams of carbohydrates. I take five milligrams of Ambien at 2 a.m. to ensure sleep by three so that I get at least one round of REM before the alarm goes off at seven. I shave my legs in under five minutes, finish my makeup in two, and will eat a cereal bar on the way to the train. My therapist, whom I get for 50 minutes once a week with a 20% copay, says I should get more sleep. I tell her my dreams are always about fractals. Surely that means something. She tells me to slow down. Use bath salts. Splurge on a fluffy blush brush to glide across my cheeks. I tell her brokenness has its own beauty.
When I get home, I check my Facebook status to see that my recent post received 47 likes and 20 comments. On Twitter I have 1,000 followers but it was a dismal day with only five retweets, and I seem to have lost a friend. My calendar is mysteriously full of Facebook events that I’ve been invited to by strangers. I try to plan out which outfit I will wear for each occasion, how many pounds I need to lose to fit into the red dress. Endless repetition. A recursive dance for love. The finish line always tomorrow. For now, fifty crunches left to do and then I’ll treat myself to an Ambien and a bath with vanilla fizzies.
Nancy Hightower has been published in journals such as Word Riot, storySouth, Gargoyle, and Prick of the Spindle. Her novel Elementari Rising came out in 2013 and this summer Port Yonder Press will publish The Acolyte, her first collection of poetry. She currently reviews Science Fiction and Fantasy for The Washington Post.