“If you’re feelin’ the squeeze and need to cut back on gym fees, ‘bootcamp in a box’ may be just what you need,” touts the TV.

I open my eyes a little wider to take in the choreography, my head propped on a pile of Hilton pillows. 

An infomercial? 

Not on your life. 

Network morning news — in Los Angeles.

The line up of packaged workouts is stunning, but beware, the female anchor warns, “energy boost supplements often come in the package with the DVD.  Many are not FDA approved and may contain ephedra — or green tea extracts —”

Green tea under investigation.  Uh-oh.

“Botulism toxin injected in rats’ whisker muscles traveled to their brain stems —”

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?  Frozen faces or frozen brains?

“A new device called stomaphyx could help bypass surgery patients who might need a second surgery —”

Stretch it out again?  Not a problem, shrink it a second time without even goin’ under the knife.  

Speaking of food — “What?  I’m sorry —”

“Give me ones,” he demands, making jabbing motions at the register.  “No drawer.  No drawer.  Three dollar.”

I peel off the ones and head to the meeting.

“Yes, data can be wrong.  A recent query for a mailing to health care systems turned up Roto-Rooter.”

“Specialty group of gastro docs.”    

Room laughs and presenter squeezes her buttocks — tighter. 

Guess she won’t mind my leaving early now. 

For the sixteenth time, “Where’s the restroom key?”

Gorging itself on virulent drug-resistant bacteria.  Get me outta here.

“That’s the Kodak Theatre —”

Crack the window please, I feel sick.  For real.

“You headed home?”

God I hope so.

“Paging passenger Patreeek Kelleee.  Patreeeeek Kelleee.  See me at 22.”

She’s so happy.  Oh, that’s sweet. 

“Thank you for your inconvenience.

“And sorry one more time.”

 Nice way to say delayed, L.A.

 

My art flows from the patterns & paths of my lived experience which ⏤ like yours ⏤ are at once deeply personal and entirely universal.

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