This is a repost from a Tumblr series that I called “My perfect dad.” I’m preserving these older stories and continuing to write new ones available on this site first.
I still remember my old life. Sometimes I wish I didn’t, but that’s the way my Son wants it to be. He likes knowing that all my memories and intelligence are trapped inside this big, dumb body, wanting to get out but unable to. Every morning when I wake up before dawn and lay out His clothes for the day, I stop and think to myself, “What would I be doing right now if I’d never met Him?”
I was a physicist, for Pete’s sake, tenured faculty at my university, just hitting my stride, career wise. Another 10 or so years on this trajectory and I’d have earned myself a long, comfortable retirement.
And then I met Jay. I was flattered that a guy his age would even pay attention to me, let alone ask me out on a date. He didn’t fit the younger guy stereotype at all. He was clever, well-spoken, and interested in things beyond sex and video games. For a soft-spoken intellectual like me–well, like I used to be–Jay was such a breath of fresh air. I loved introducing him to my favorite things, theater and wine, and he had this amazing way of comforting me after a long, stressful day at the office.
As we developed feelings for each other, things started to change. My mind started drifting and I had trouble focusing on my research. I forgot appointments and important deadlines. I even got lost on my way home from work a couple times. Jay was always so understanding. He never made me feel stupid or old or feeble, even though I increasingly did.
The gym membership was a big deal. “Mens sana in corpore sano,” Jay said. I agreed with him, even though I wasn’t really sure what he meant. All I knew is that he had high expectations for me. Three days a week at first, then four, then five. I was exhausted, but Jay always seemed so impressed by my progress, that I just started getting up earlier and earlier to squeeze in another workout.
“Jay, something weird is going on,” I told him one day while I was measuring out my protein powder. “It’s kind of embarrassing.”
From his spot at the kitchen table, Jay looked at me with a concerned expression that melted my heart. “Sounds serious. What’s up, pops?”
I chuckled at his pet name for me. At first I thought he was making fun of me for being older, but when I realized he meant it to be endearing, I warmed up to it. “I’m distracted. Lately I’ve been noticing my hand just wants to go…” my voice trailed off as I glanced down to the crotch of my chinos. “You know, down there. Sometimes I don’t even realize I’ve been doing it.”
Jay came over and put his arm around my now-bulky shoulder. The way it sat awkwardly against my pumped-up trapezius made me feel at once proud and confused, but Jay’s voice made any confusion vanish right away.
“No worries, pops,” he said. “If you’re self-conscious, we can fix that easily. Let me make some calls.” I tried to tell him that his conclusion was incorrect, but I just couldn’t find the words. One week later, I was at the plastic surgeon’s for silicone injections. Now my bulge gets in the way no matter where I am or what I’m doing. It’s impossible not to notice.
I still remember my old life, but people from my old life don’t recognize me anymore. Not that I spend much time in academic circles, anyway. If I’m not at the gym, I’m at home taking care of my hot Son, cooking His meals and showing off my body to His friends. No more theater, no more wine. My stud Son printed my new favorite things on my gym shirts. Although, now that I think about it, I can’t recall the last time I had either.
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