Swimming

Dear Internets,

As some of you know, my name is Alisa Starr and I make Snarky Cards: Brutally Honest Greeting Cards. I sell them in bars from a box that hangs beneath my boobs. Which are huge. So is my ass. We call my ass The Mountain. Well, we call it The Magic Mountain now (Thanks Asa!). I’m looking to get my ass down to normal size. This means we might have to sacrifice some boobs, but I’m willing to go down to a D cup (from my triple D’s) for the cause.

The Magic Mountain: Only the brave will climb it

Creston Pool opened about 3 weeks ago. It’s an outdoor pool, mostly filled with children getting swim lessons, and the 16 year old lifeguards who teach them. I do laps there in the afternoon, and try to swim around the pool on the weekends, while the pool is crowded with people just bobbing and screaming in a recreational attempt to get out of the heat. It’s weird to be the only fat chick at the pool. It’s especially weird to be the only adult swimming who doesn’t have a child taking lessons. Sometimes I eavesdrop on the lessons, trying to improve my strokes. I love swimming. I always have. I think it’s because I’m a cancer, and we’re crabs. But I also took swimming lessons every year from the time I was four until I was ten. My mother kept me in swim lessons for an extra long time, because she liked to flirt with my swim instructors. She was a young mother, younger then than I am now, and the boys who ran the pool liked flirting with her back. By the time I was 11, I actually got on the swim team, in Santa Clara. I competed and won some medals. And then I turned 12, and started to get self-conscious about my body, and the idea of wearing a bathing suit just sounded humiliating.

So, I forgot that the pool is a perfect place, where I’m always the right size, and it’s OK to be athletic, and nothing can hurt me while I’m swimming laps. Usually by the 25th minute of my work-out I have some sort of epiphany about work, or my feelings, or my life, that makes it all easier. And then I get out of the pool (a little wobbly as the leg I broke doesn’t exactly remember how to climb the pool ladder) and I feel muscular and strong.

I like to walk back home, on Powell, wearing my wet suit, letting it dry in the sun. I think of this as an exercise in loving the way I look in it; trying my best to like my body as it is, rather than wishing it was different. And while I swim, the sound of children laughing and learning things reassures me, bringing me back to a time when my life was simpler, and I was sure I was easy to like.

Last night I went out selling in Southeast Portland, and I met a whole lot of people who’ve been buying my cards for years, and are happy to see that I’m still doing it. It was like a nudge from the Universe saying: You’re still OK. You’re doing a good job. You just have to keep going. Between that and the Magic Mountain plan, I think this summer is going to turn out OK.

I just relisted some cards on my etsy site. Kitty AIDS has been one of my favorites. At first I thought it was a card I could send my grandmother, but recently I’ve realized that she’s actually Hella-Religious and she would probably get upset about me making fun of the baby Jesus this way. Then again, she does hate cats….

Love,

Alisa

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