A Better Person

Lunate 2019

My back’s raw - striped diagonally with scars scabbing over, as is my ass and the back of my thighs. My neck sports finger-spaced bruises.

Soon I’ll be a better person, my Life Coach tells me, and I want to be, but I’m finding that becoming a better person is a painful process and I tell him this and he tells me it only means maybe I really don’t want to be a better person after all.

Before leaving I walk around his office, check the bookcase, pause at the decorative mirror and check the bags under my eyes, the crows' feet, and my hair. I look through the glass door of his breakfront and see a riding crop, whip, set of nunchucks, and several lengths and thicknesses of bamboo. One wall is covered with framed letters thanking Coach for helping “make me a better person”. The signatures are all redacted. I look forward to these sessions being over and sending my “thank you” letter to coach and tell him of my successes with meeting women. I made the decision to be a better person by the time I was forty years old and if I didn’t spot the Life Coaches ad on the bus stop bench I wouldn’t have stood a chance.

My ass hurts like hell and I check and see how my other wounds are doing. I feel the pain in so, so many places. Coach says it’s his form of acupuncture.

Two weeks later I show up for my appointment. Coach tells me we’re going to work on “your” feet today, so every time you take a step you’ll be reminded to be that better person inside trying to get out. As instructed, I remove my shoes and lay down on his chaise. I look up at the high coffered ceiling. Coach shows me a thin stick of bamboo and Whap! Whap! Whap! and the soles of my feet burn and sting and he tells me I can go and that he knows for sure I’ll be a better person this week and he’s going on vacation so we make an appointment for a month from today but I know that I won’t show because I’ve come to the realization on that last Whap! that I’m as good a person as I will ever want to be.

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