A beautiful blonde woman stood like a statue that had been carved from the finest marble under the careful but masterful hands of a passionate sculptor who pined for a lost love long gone. Surrounding her was a group of stupids who were trying to assert their alpha male machoness like a pack of drooling wolves. Two wolves snarled. One flexed his bicep, which surprised me because I didn't think men did that anymore to impress women. This is two-thousand freakin' fifteen.
I was not part of the pack. I tend to hunt alone. OK. That sounds weird.
Anyway, the other wolf barked, "I know you can't do more push-ups than him." He pointed at me. "I can definitely do more push-ups than him, and I can out run the both of you. So I am the best."
He runs marathons as a hobby. Full marathons.
At a prior party, the host had asked a few of us to compete in a push-up competition. Two men were up to it. I sat silently, trying to blend my yellah self to the textured white walls of the living room. That did not work, even after I said no.
I was volunteered to be the third man of the push-up competition. I didn't know how many I could do, but I was not looking forward to finding out after eating and drinking the whole night. And despite one of the men being fifteen years younger than me, and pretty fit himself, I won. So that was how that wolf, who barked, knew I could do a lot of push-ups.
Then he said he could do more push-ups than me. I didn't rebut nor even challenge him because, again, I was at a party, and having a stomach full of junk food hadn't enticed me to test my physical limits.
The thing about ego is that we either feel superior or inferior when we do the stupid and compare ourselves to others. There will always be someone better at something or worse at something than us. And the purpose of growing as a person is to be better than who we were. That was why I hadn't wanted to be part of that push-up competition. It was meaningless to me.
And as a writer, I'm not ashamed to tell people that I've yet to be published, despite working on this novel for five years. I don't go into explanations why. I don't give myself excuses to share with others. I've yet to be published simply because I'm currently working on shoring up my novel. People may judge me, stating I've worked too long for no results. And that's fine. I have no control over what they think. I will continue to toil away inside cafés, pouring over my writing coach's notes, crying at the devastation she's left behind, and doing my best to write the best book.
It's not like I'm curing cancer and people are on the verge of dying without my help. I'm just a writer with something to say.