Sunday, April 10, 2016

“Letter from my body” by Tobyn Pearson

Dearest Tobyn, 
It is with great regret that I must now inform you of your impending doom. After fifty-plus years of neglect and abuse, one can only surmise that the clock is ticking, and time can no longer be measured in decades but mere months. Now that your lazy ass is retired, it is time for us to have a frank discussion – frank meaning honest and not the 50-cent franks at Ikea.

I know you better than you do.

We’ve lived a pretty good life to this point. Without any major injuries under our belt (when you can see it). We can be proud of our past accomplishments. The fact that you decided it would not be a good idea to become a rodeo clown, suicide bomber, alligator wrestler or land mine remover, tells me that you do care about me. It’s in this spirit of caring that I must bring to your attention a few items I feel you are neglecting and need addressing in order for us to carry on in this relationship.

I do appreciate that you manage to step on a scale on a bi-yearly basis. However, when the scale says “one at a time,” it would be nice if you would take that advice to heart. Your Coke-consuming, McDonalds-munching, chip-chomping, chocolate-chewing, beer-bonging, lollipop-licking and cookie-crunching must come to an end!

You do understand that Coke will clean the rust off a steel pipe? After forty-plus years of swilling a liter of Coke a day, I can tell you that there is certainly no rust whatsoever left in my system, nor much of a stomach lining either. That clear fluid that flows freely from your taps? It’s called water, and it’s actually quite refreshing and drinkable. Please give it a try. For me?

Sometimes it seems as if you love your truck more than me. Every three months or five thousand kilometers, you dutifully take your truck to the mechanic to get the fluids checked and changed, and the tire pressure adjusted to ensure everything is just right.

When do you plan to check my fluids and my pressures? Feeling the tightening of the cuff from the blood pressure machine on my arms is a most wonderful feeling. By doing this, you show me that you care. 

You haven’t checked in over two years! Don’t you love me anymore? I do however understand the reluctance in getting your fluid levels checked. Your doctor most certainly does not use a dip-stick, but assuredly, she does it with the greatest of care and well meaning, and keeps her nails trimmed.

Xersise, exsersice, ecsirsize. See! I can’t even spell it correctly. I don’t even remember what it means or looks like anymore. You only wear running shoes you can slip on in order to avoid the exercise involved in tying up your laces. And, no, tying up your shoes does not constitute exercise. You lazy sod!

Look to your left, beside the desk I’m writing this on. See that black and silver machine with a conveyor belt, and all those neat shiny little buttons? It’s called a treadmill. You purchased that two years ago, and I was so excited, thinking that maybe, just maybe you had the intention to take me for a walk, albeit stationary. You never take me out anymore! Are you embarrassed to be seen with me?

You used to look in the mirror and admire me. Now you barely give me a passing glance. You don’t touch me like you used to. Okay, I wont go there.

As in any relationship, it takes two to make it work. I haven’t necessarily always held up my end of the bargain either. I give you my sincerest apologies for the disappearance of hair from your head, and its re-appearance in your ears and ass.

But the fact that I have no chest and no ass is a genetic issue, not mine. My double chin is from your mother. Go bitch at her for that one.

How about we make a deal? Starting next week, we get our shit together. This means no Coke, exercise every day, and quite feeding me so much crap. Something green and leafy would be much appreciated! We’ll discuss all this over a nice glass of wine tonight, an Argentinian Cabernet would do, we’ll turn the lights down low, and maybe, just maybe you can get me in the mood.

Love always and forever,
Your Body

Tobyn Pearson is a recently retired operations manager, looking to find what he wants to do when he grows up. “I’ve given magic, lacrosse, juggling, cricket, knitting, basketball, and baking a try,” says Tobyn. “Time to add a little writing to the list.”

See Brian Henry’s schedule here, including writing workshops, writing retreats, and creative writing courses in Algonquin Park, Alton, Barrie, Bracebridge, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Ingersoll, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, St. John, NB, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Halton, Ingersoll, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.


  1. This is awesome. Fresh, original. It made me laugh and yet felt a bit of sympathy for that poor narrator. Now if you excuse I'm going to get an apple and go for a walk.

  2. Even better on the second reading! Great job Tobyn and so nice to meet you. I'll be looking out for more of your work! Nandini

  3. Made me take the drying dishcloths off the elliptical. What a refreshing read. Thanks, Tobyn!

  4. You will need to print me off a copy and sign it.....Ill put it in the safe so 50 years from now I can sell it for million dollars. In 100 years it will be like finding the first published piece of Robertson Davies11! xo good read!!!