DISCLAIMER:This post comes to you after two glasses of red wine on an empty stomach. Forgive the typos, I will fix in the morning after a cup of black coffee.
Alright, for starters I can’t even talk about it. Every time I sit down to write Rugged Fox these days I end up writing the diaries of a fat redhead girl. I kid you not. For the last three months I have been writing the same post over and over again. Blah blah frozen pizza, blah blah drinking problem blah blah work too much. Ugh! Every time I finish writing I feel like I either need to join Weight Watchers, Betty Ford or Alcoholic’s Anonymous.
I knew the sitch got totes dire when I dressed up in layers to go to the beach. The sun was shining, the water was glistening and there I was – sitting underneath a tree with my Jets baseball cap and a pair of mustard-stained jeans. Listening to the Bridget Jones Soundtrack, I scoffed every time a tanned gay man in a sea-foam tank top stopped in front of me to Instagram a selfie. “I hate Vancouver!” I hacked, lighting a Benson & Hedges SuperSlim and taking a sip from the bottle of rose in my Starbucks cup.
I am honestly not sure what happened. This time last year I was on fire! I had a new job, a boyfriend with abs and a killer downtown pad three blocks from the water. It was finally my turn to be the popular girl in high school that everybody was jealous of. But that lasted all of five minutes before everything went downhill and fast. Work turned in to a chicken parm nightmare, the boy turned out to be a very attractive flake and my bachelor in the sky began to feel like a $1,400 per-month prison cell.
Meryl Streep was obviously not impressed by my newfound hubris because she tore a strip out of me some good. In dramatic gay man fashion, I got dumped on the first day it rained. I actually had to create a Youtube playlist featuring Annie Lennox and Sinead O’Connor because it seemed like the right thing to do. In the months that followed, rather than come out on top, I stuck with what I what I know and went straight to the bottom. Drowning myself in red wine, Jameson’s and overtime at the restaurant I watched my waistline expand at the same rate my self-esteem shrunk.
I remember fondly the day I said goodbye to my fabulous cowboy boots. In a moment of complete devastation, the right heel snapped one night at this totally happening Gastown roof-top party. I spent the entire night in tears, rocking back and forth, holding the dying boot close to my chest and screaming, “DOESN'T ANYBODY HERE KNOW A FUCKING COBBLER??” I held on to the boots for another six months, before I laid them to rest in the garbage bin downstairs. (Author’s note: In retrospect, I could have completely saved the footwear. These parentheses are filled with regret.)
So let’s fast-forward to one week ago and me having a nervous breakdown in the bath tub over a bottle of Chilean cab-sauv. Steven Sondheim couldn’t have written the scene better; mainly because he did. “Isn’t it rich?” I began singing. “Isn’t it queer?” Steadily building, “losing my timING THIS LATE IN MY career, and where are the clowns?” I took a sip of wine and wiped the imaginary hair back from my forehead. Fourteen days from turning 28 and I had thrown in the towel.
And then something happened. I got out of the bath tub, blew out the cardamom-scented candle, turned on the light and faced myself in the mirror. “I will not be a fat alcoholic restaurant manager,” I said out loud. “I will be less Bernadette Peters and more Neil Patrick Harris.” I flexed my biceps (which thank Meryl survived the travesty the rest of my body endured) and puffed out my chest. “I am going to start getting better,” I asserted, “I am going to start getting better after one more cigarette and this bottle of red wine.”
Last Saturday (like two days ago) I went to Wreck Beach to be reborn. For those of you who aren’t in the know, Wreck Beach is this 40% nude, 60% dressed, and 100% stoned beach in Vancouver. It is this little paradise on the Pacific Ocean at the bottom of one-thousand wooden stairs. With Pacey by my side (Hunter is more of a downtown boy) I set-up shop next to the only vacant log I could find. Taking off my shirt, I unloaded half a bottle of SPF 45 on to my pale stomach and shoulders.
I then unbuckled my shorts and stripped down to my underwear. Fortunately I was wearing my sunglasses at the time and therefore was legally blind; because I couldn’t see any of the expressions on the faces around me. I took a deep breath, and then I did it. I took it all off. I imagined my first thought after going full monty would be “thank Meryl, I am free!” But that was not the case at all. It was actually, “Oh shit what if I burn my penis!” I grabbed the sunscreen back out of my bag, and applied it generously to myself while trying not to get turned on.
A half an hour later I played out a scene that hundreds of thousands of gay men have cat-walked before me. I strutted from my blanket and in to the Ocean, nude. One foot in front of the other, I walked around each parasol with purpose and pride. That was, of course, until I strolled passed a group of hot-naked-straight-men playing football and had haul ass in to the frigid water as fast as I could. The waves crashing up against me, I looked in to the sky at the big burning sun, that blazing light that makes an appearance oh so rare in this grey town I call home, and said “thank you.” My chubby white ass flailing in the wind, I washed away the feeling of loneliness and self-defeat.
I have been searching for Rugged Fox for a long time now, almost a year. Every night I pray to Meryl that he will return. Hopefully this time he sticks around long enough for me to pick myself back up again. I think I would like that. I am tired of living under a cloud.