A short story about compassion and love where an old man grapples with aging.
He grasped his belly smoothing his hands over his chest and belly button. His stomach protruded outward, he had a pregnant woman’s physique. The full length mirror gave a whole view not just of the hotel room with its tan walls and cream colored sheets, but of the parts of him which sagged and folded.
He tapped his pecks, they jiggled. He lifted his arms watching the flab flap in the air like bed sheets. He flexed his bicep then used his fingers to search for the muscle he knew was hidden beneath the layers of fat. He stretched his arms to the ceiling and struck a pose he had seen body builders do.
“What are you doing?” said his wife.
Her voice startled and panicked him. Rather than admit the truth, he bent forward pointing his fingers to his toes then he raised them to the ceiling.
“Stretching,” he said as his cheeks blushed.
“Since when do you stretch?” she asked.
“Gotta start sometime, right?” he said stretching his leg forward to do a lunge.
His wife knew what he was doing, but she said nothing and walked into the bathroom. He waited till he heard water spitting from shower head, then turned his attention back to the mirror.
The years had thinned his hair, wrinkled his face, and warped his body. And yet, he felt the same. Of course, nowadays he tired easily and his antics had become less juvenile, but still he felt like a feisty, young twenty-something.
He glanced at his boxer briefs which clung to his thick thighs. He dared not take them off. As it was he had difficulty facing his half naked body, there was no need for him to glare at his naked penis.
“You’re still handsome,” said his wife’s voice.
She had poked her head from the bathroom door and he quickly resumed his”stretching”.