I am not a whore. I’m a writer.
To be sure, there are those who will say that this is to split hairs, but no — sorry to disappoint — the truth is otherwise. I’ve done my share of fooling around, but no money and no favors have ever changed hands. No, never, not ever.
Whereas I am involved in a deal with a good publisher concerning a science book, bearing on my original research in the foundations of quantum theory. You can look it up.
Why do I protest? I find myself in a truly ridiculous predicament. Lately, when out and about, running my errands, I have been accosted by unruly persons who shout out “whore!” while I pass by, thus derailing my train of thought and otherwise disturbing my usual equanimity.
Now, as anyone who knows me can readily assure you, this accusation is wholly bogus and utterly absurd. I’m old enough to be the grandfather of the college students who typically (you should pardon the expression) abuse me.
Why is this happening, then? You might well ask.
One need not look far for reasons. I’ve been lifting weights, watching what I eat, and generally taking good care of myself ever since my late 20s. All by way of saying I’ve got it going on, as I believe one says these days — at least, below the neck. My face remains goofy-looking, but seems to enjoy a halo effect, courtesy of the bod. The evidence? For years, now, I’ve done better by a lot of people who are quite arguably out of my league.
The other thing is, people see me walking around downtown, to all appearances unoccupied, and, on the basis of no real information, seem inclined to assume the worst. O, happy day.
And that’s it. Yes, a number of “working men” are bodybuilders, but the vast majority of weight-lifters are not “professionals.” Far more often they are poor schlubs like me, working through their insecurities.
But I thought it best to set the record straight. Then it hit me — for a long while, now, I’ve been meaning to write a series of stories about the many remarkable characters, colloquially known as “athletes,” whom I’ve met in the course of working out. People I would have feared and rejected as alien and intimidating, long ago in my bookish, neurotic youth, but whom I came to love and admire and even help along their way. The truth is, you see, in any other time or place I would have been the village healer or something of the kind. And that’s far more fascinating than simple sex, for as Jung tells us, the unconscious, at bottom, is God.
I’ve put off this little writing project for years. Now it seems to me I needed an inciting incident, a place to plant a seed.