When I Need A Pick Me Up, by my friend Ryan King

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fish Out Of Water

At my new haunt NaBloPoMo there is a theme about swimming which comes along with a contest. Soon as I was made aware of this, I knew this was the place for me. Even though this is sponsored by BlogHer, a women's movement in writing, I was informed by the recommender of the exercise and the moderator that I could be a dude and still participate. I figure I bring a little from Column A & a little Column B.

I've been posting of late about a fella I have named "New Hunk". He is clearly my new mancrush. I have had several as my personal blog will attest. So my entry into this swim-themed contest is not so much about myself as it is about him.

When I first "met" New Hunk, he had innocuously posted things about his interests in comicbooks, as had I and many others in the virtual interspace where we geeks from around the globe gather, check in, discuss, fuss, and blunderbuss. We have the option, as do many forums, to attach little cyber-tchotchke's under each of our posts. Little clickies to send you, the reader, to our own personal corners of cyberworld. "New Hunk" had put a link to a series of YouTube videos he's done with himself playing guitar and singing his self-written songs. I found him to be a little morose with them. He has a way of staring at the camera like he's challenging it. His songs are dark but introspective. Full of art and expression from someone who seems less than chipper.

And too, I thought he was handsome. Like, a basic 1950's Father Knows Best handsome.

Well, shift a few months forward and New Hunk takes an interest in our weight loss thread at the aforementioned forum. His entire approach seemed a little too meticulous. A little too anal, if I may dare. But soon afterwards he dropped some details as to why he was going about this so painstakingly.

He told us that he'd been off work for maybe a year from stress and depression. He was looking for something, ANYTHING that would help him get out of the quicksand he was in. So he was taking his nutrition seriously and hoping it would help.

I began to understand his Type-A approach to weight-loss. It was a way he could wrest some control out of a world in which he had lost so much of it otherwise. Even though he had a wife, and guitar talent, and the skills to write songs, he was trapped by depression. A feeling I am patently acquainted with.

So in I leapt with the praise and encouragement. By trade, I am a therapist so I know how this works. But by way of just being me, I thrive off of the well-being of people. I want us to be better. To do better. To fulfill the potential inside of us and to enjoy it. It means a lot to me. For whatever reason.

Round about that time, New Hunk started hitting the gym and deciding that swimming was going to be helpful for him. So while he was learning better techniques in the pool and in the weight room, and while he was overcoming earlier traumas of being bullied from the ignorant and young gradeschool grindhouses ... he was getting more and more good looking. Then one day out of the blue,
he decides to post a shirtless pic of himself flexing his biceps.

That was the day I renamed my blog.

New Hunk and I, we have this internet friendship going now where he gets encouragement and flirting from me, and I get to see him flex his muscles every now and again. I like to think he's trying to provide a little giveback, him being a straight married guy and all.

But at the same time, he writes in notes and posts of how swimming is like a relaxation technique for him now. He says it's like transcendental meditation for him. He says it feels like he's flying. And I utterly believe him.

On the one hand, this makes my heart lift to know that he found a way to help himself in the middle of his debilitating depression when usually the very tool you need to help you -the brain- is the thing that is in itself depressed. I see him in my mind's eye cutting through the water and becoming serene and at peace with himself.

And that takes me to the other hand. In my mind's eye I also see his now-powerful shoulders causing his arms to windmill and propel him forward. They are like a set of oars carved from Michelangelo's David. I envision what the surface tension of the water looks like as it breaks between his shoulder blades and flows across his rippling back. I can picture how his narrow hips and washboard belly knifes through the foam that he creates with his power and his purpose. I know his thick legs and long feet are dutifully thrusting, kicking, flapping. I know that with every reach, every thrust, every stroke his muscles are cast into gleaming contour just above the water's surface.

I can see him and I want him. He is a water god but I ...

... I'm a fish out of water.

No comments: