The folly of resolutions for the new year never fails to consume any iota of hope or idealism in my pea brain. Such is life.
And so you would forgive me for scoffing - with such intensity that my wide aorta nearly ruptured - when to quell my nay sayings, a certain "Melania Steele Professional Resolution Keeper" reached out. I had not heard of this woman's incredible legacy beforehand, but the reaction of those around me upon my scoff led me to know that this was someone with whom not to trifle. She had gotten wind of my previous interviews, and wished to arrange something, it had seemed. Reluctant beyond the realm of acceptable reluctance, I nevertheless said yes, as previous conversations with self-professed masters of millennial thought had managed to wring new life out of my every orifice. Perhaps lightning could strike thrice. I emailed her back to confirm.
DUMBO, Brooklyn, two days later. The slush of once-pristine snow sprinkled the cobblestone like the regret that had similarly draped itself in my mind over the failed attempts to better myself with each new revolution around the sun. I amble up to her brownstone, my boots drenched in piss-ugly NYC slide snow, and I wipe them off vigorously as I make my way up the steps.
Room 405. Goddamn, I'm out of shape. Holidays always cripple my attempts to lose weight. I hope to find the answers here. Gently, as if crossing the threshold from mortality into immortality, I give four knocks to the rhythm of 'Despacito.'
"Hey, brochacho! Come on in for el interviewo!"
I do come in for el interviewo. A well-kept place, almost immaculately so - hot dang! Not a thing is out of place. Platitudes of the deepest wisdom ("COLLECT MOMENTS, NOT THINGS" catches me) adorn every wall above small tables holding scores of designer trinket things.
Our subject slides in, Risky Business-style, from her bedroom, in an ugly sweater and Versace leggings. Ah! She looks like Lena Dunham, I couldn't help myself but think. So she can't be all bad, could she?
"Hey boi! Why don't you take a seat so we can get this show on the road? I have a speech at Full Sale college this evening, so I need to catch a plane in an hour."
"Oh! So you truly are living your life to the fullest?" I ask, testing the waters.
"BRUH! You can say that!"
I whip out my notepad, almost desperately, as my yearn to better myself and my circumstances was pulsating subconsciously. "Alright, Melania Steele - cool name..."
"Thanks, dudeski! My parents gave it to me! Ahahaha!"
I admit myself a wee bit confused - how could someone so accomplished be so down to earth? - but nonetheless, begin the interview.
"So I'm sure there's one lingering question for all of the readers of the interview - how do you do it? All of these resolutions, how do you stick to them in order to better not only yourself, but your circumstances?"
"Um, easy! I think who I am yesterday is SHIT. Every day, I think that." She gets up on her couch and starts a little jig. I don't know what it is, but I can tell she dances like no one's watching, sings like no one's listening.
"So like - last year is three hundred freaking sixty-five days of full shit. And on the New Year's, all those shit days are in full view of rear view! So it's the one time of the year where shit-me is fully in the past."
Oh. Oh. I put my head in my hands, utterly shameful.
"Incredible. Your strategy is one I never considered, I must admit."
She sighs, as the playfulness diminishes somewhat. Uh oh - did I do that?
"First off, I understand where you're coming from. I really do. We're all but foundations of who we really need to be. Are you ready for the secret to success?"
I took a moment, and in my head, created a small retrospect of my entire life - have I done anything to earn this moment?
"I think so."
"That's okay! Success begins by admitting you're w-r-o-n-g. Success demands successful attitudes. And that's how whenever I make a promise to myself, I keep it. Weight, work, grades, they're all the same thing! Just hurdles. And you are the Oscar Pistorius of this thing called life! Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. Don't like school? Quit it. Don't like work? Quit! Want healthy relationships? Don't be single anymore!"
Fuck, I've been fucking up! Why have I made all of those plans? Why have I not quit school? Why do I still work? Sure, I need to pay for my education in order to find a job in a tumultuous market, but fuck it, I'm gonna dance like no one's watching! I felt as if I was blindsided by a freight train covered in frozen Italian nougat, so inspired was I. What else, what else - oh yeah! I remember my, which leads to my next question.
"Weight...oh yeah! That leads to my next question. What's the key to a healthy lifestyle?"
"Ugh. Obvi, I feel for you, I'm like incredibly overweight," she laments, patting her abdomens and emitting what sounds like diamond against rock. "But! All you have to do is envision who you wish to be."
Who I wish to be...possibilities swirl, dreams emerge.
"I wanna look like Oscar Isaac with Michael Fassbender's body. Is that unrealistic?"
"It's not unrealistic for the smallest pigeon to fly South and back for the winter, Broseidon! It's simple. There's no reason not to eat processed food, or not wake up with a cleansing session followed by an evening trip to the gym. Seriously - no one can't do that. There's no excuse."
"Well, my uncle Montrose, uh, he works retail in Bay Ridge for like 10 hours a day. Plus minimum wage kinda leaves processed food to be one of the few options-"
"Yes, but, Peter - it's always cute to see the younger ones, really is - you must realize only he controls his fate. Being great is not settling for who you were yesterday. I was in Venezuela last summer, near this Mexican village, where some of the people felt out of shape to me. I'll tell you, all I did was push them to be their best selves, and by God, I think I changed them for the better! Me! On my own."
Wow! My head bubbled - I had never thought to tell my uncle this, and hard as the task may be, he himself owes it to himself to not settle for himself! I smiled, as the pathways to success were making themselves known in my headmap.
"Are you tearing up?"
"Sorry, I'm just thinking how lucky those Venezuelans were to have you. Sorry."
My eyes dance around their sockets, absorbing this brave, strong warrior's domain.
"Oh, yeah - so, financially, how do you become stable enough? I see you have a steady job, nice place..."
With a gaze as fierce as wildfire, I feel my soul penetrated as she turns her head towards me. Melania gracefully flips off of the couch and sticks a perfect landing.
"Holy schnikes! Look at the time - I better call my Uber to take me to JFK, yeah? Dudeski, I'd love nothing more than to sit and finish - but we will when I get back from Florida, all right?"
No! Is this what drove Prometheus? Knowing the taste of heaven and the stench of humanity equally, forced to choose? The latter was my destiny. Maybe she needs a journalist to go on her trip.
"Oh - okay!"
Damn. I don't have enough conviction. In her strong strength, she slaps me on the back.
"Remember! Why be average when you can be the greatest? Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain."
My body quivers as she turns on a song through her speaker - MGMT's 'Time to Pretend' - and mystically, with the precision of a Texas Instrumental calculator, skips back to her room with a whoop and holler.
And so that was the moment when I decided that shit-me was done for. Yesterday is history, tomorrow a mystery and today is a gift. That's why we call it the present. Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars. It takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile. Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today.
Immediately, I headed to a Think Coffee to do exactly that and as I realized the cleverness of my activity/location synchronization, I thought there was hope for me yet.