I was working on my masculinity. “Make me look like that!” I told the haircutter. The Vietnamese barber looked at the picture of Chris Hemsworth with skeptical eyes. “You’ll need Gel,” she said. How many schmucks like me brought in a magazine and said the same thing? I wondered. Then she went through her sales routine and sold me overpriced Gel.

After my haircut, I went to the closest gym. Only 10 dollars a month. Planet Fitness was for me. I flirted with the girl behind the counter and told her I wanted a membership.

“Let me show you around,” she said. I followed her, admiring her behind. This gym would be my gym.

After the tour, she let me know there was a startup fee of 60 dollars. I paused. “Okay,” I said. “I’ll pay it.”

Then I noticed there was a 50-dollar maintenance fee. “I’m sorry, but I can’t go through with this,” I said. It wasn’t the money; it was knowing they were trying to trick me.

At work, I wasn’t getting any respect. “Andy, you can set the course and do it faster this time!” It was the job nobody wanted, and I was getting to be as tough as nails. I took their bullshit and worked-out after the 8-hour day. I got a membership at Bally’s Total Fitness. There were these two older women. One was smokin hot and her friend just wasn’t. I liked to watch the hot one doing squats and lunges in her spandex. It never got old and I spent hours in the gym. Soon my physique was rock hard.

I watched the Rocky movies, Rambo, and Jean Claude Van Damme kicking ass. How did this guy make the big-time when he couldn’t act for shit and spoke no English? If he could do it, I could do it! And I was determined to become a soldier of success.

I started taking supplements. The creatine made me throw up and the protein powder caused me to fart at the most inopportune times. I decided to up my supplements with a Nitrous Oxide Booster and Branch Chain Amino Acids. I got on the treadmill and noticed the veins in my arms exploding. They were bruised from the inside. In a couple days, my hair was falling out. Then I panicked.

“Mom, you got to take me to the sports medicine doctor. Bad things are happening.” I told her about my recent hair loss and she got worried. I’d been reading obsessively about the human body and how chemicals can alter muscle growth and performance. So, when I talked to the doctor, he was really impressed.

“I’ve been running 60 miles a week and lifting heavy 6 days a week. This stuff really works,” I told him. I pulled out two shopping bags full of supplements and he looked at the ingredients.

“This one has something in it that’s supposed to make you feel more manly,” he told me. “But most of these supplements won’t do much for you.”

“But I have insane energy,” I told him.

“Placebo!” He suggested.

That was impossible. There was no way I was working out 24 hours a week because of placebo.

“My hair’s falling out!” I told him.

He touched my head and pulled at my hair. “Seems fine to me,” he said.

“But I’m worried about going bald!”

It may have been a faux pas on my part as he was balder than a bowling ball.

“Let me run some tests and I’ll need a sample of your blood. You’ll be okay son. And I think you should be a doctor.”

Later that day, the results came back. I was okay. And strangely enough, I became a doctor.

One thought on “Masculine Me

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