WEATHER: Heat index of 110. Bajillion.
MILES THIS WEEK: 64 (new record, as far as I know) (for me, not humanity, you see…)!
WHERE TO: Rock Creek Park, Capital Crescent Trail
MOOD: Heat index of 110. Bajillion. … in my BED! Awwwwww SHIT!
<looks both ways> Is the coast clear? Are the parents gone? Good. Let’s get back to business.
Chapter 5: The Harsh Light of Day
The morning light filtering through Rod Deltoid’s sheer curtains gently woke Jessica the next morning. She rolled over to find Rod resting on his elbow, watching her. With the firm and glistening contours of his body, he was like a Greek god in repose.
“My dear, how did you sleep?” he asked with a wink.
Jessica moaned happily and rolled closer, draping an arm and a leg over his steely torso and sleek thighs.
“Shall I make breakfast while you shower?” he asked.
“<Swoon!>”, thought Jessica, thinking that perhaps for the first time she had found a truly caring man, one she could Be With, truly, for an extended period of time. Standing up from the bed, her proud-and-well-muscled-yet-softly-feminine frame, fresh from a night of raucous-yet-sensitive lovemaking, glowing in the sunrise, she made her way to the bathroom.
After a long, steamy shower, during which Jessica slicked soap over her womanly parts in a manner that was slow and sensual and honestly a little inefficient in the time-versus-personal-cleanliness sense, but still HOT, let me tell you…
…anyway, Jessica left the bathroom, her wet and glistening body wrapped in a towel, to find Rod at his computer.
“I couldn’t decide what to make. I’m out of eggs, and cereal is just going to throw off our carb-protein-fat balance for the day, right? And that’s the last thing we need. I thought I’d look up a few calorie counts quick.”
“…surrrre…”, said Jessica.
“I mean, your frame is certainly proud and well muscled, yet softly feminine, but for the sake of your running form, you don’t want it to get any more softly feminine, if you know what I mean…”
Jessica’s fists balled involuntarily.
“I mean, one day you’re eating a bowl of Cheerios and the next you might as well be eating Ding-Dongs from a trough and doing 5-K fun-runs, am I right?”
Her fists twitched.
“Hold on,” said Rod. “I suppose I should enter my mileage and calories into my log.” He opened a spreadsheet. “Let’s see…yesterday I walked 3.2 miles and went on a wicked-fast 10-miler, and we didn’t eat any of that pasta, so that’s good!” He tap-tap-tapped away. “How long did we bonk for?”
“…What?” said Jessica.
“…I mean, it must have been three hours, at least,” Rod continued, oblivious. “How many calories do you think I burned doing that reverse cowgirl, anyway?”
“I mean, I wasn’t working that hard…”
Rod Googled “sex positions calories burned.” Jessica clutched her clothes to her chest and hurried to the bathroom, dressing quickly. What a fool she had been! What had she thought would happen? These sinewy running club men were all the same, obsessive and type-A, only looking for women as stringy and obsessive as they were, willing to live for days on Clif gels and celery, and OH why did she ever, ever think in her silly, silly brain that-
Rod’s laughter came from the other room, interrupting Jessica’s self-flagellation.
“What’s so funny?” called Jessica, poking her head out.
Rod now had a newspaper open and was leaning back in his chair, his head thrown back, teeth exposed in a wide grin. “This Zuckerman guy in the Post! He’s just a genius, the way he makes geopolitics so accessible!”
Rod chuckled. “Bull in a china shop,” he said to himself. “I LOVE it!”
Jesus H. Christ.
Now dressed, Jessica hunted for a toothbrush and toothpaste in an effort to fully expunge all Rod molecules from her being. Opening the medicine cabinet, she found what she was looking for.
She also found a syringe and a small bottle of clear liquid. Huh. Could Rod be diabetic? But turning the bottle, she discovered that the bottle didn’t say “insulin.”
It said, in clear, bold, all-caps letters, “EPO.”
Clutching the bottle in her hand, she left the bathroom. “Rod, what is this?” she said, thrusting the bottle forward.
Rod looked at it and smiled. “Helps me run!” He shrugged. As if it were no big deal.
She shook with fury. “Blood-doping? Are you serious?”
Turning around, her wet hair whipping Rod in the face as she did, Jessica grabbed her shoes and purse and strode purposefully toward the door.
“Baby!” said Rod. “Baby, lemme splain!”
Jessica stopped and turned. Her lower lip trembled. “I’m sorry,” she said, the tears pooling in her lower lids. “I just can’t be with a man who doesn’t manufacture his own red blood cells.” And with that, her tears finally spilling over and down her cheeks, Jessica left Rod’s apartment, hopefully to never see him again.