A small fraction of a small fraction

The older I get, the more I begin to think that I might not be the invincible android from the future that I always suspected - and, yes, hoped - I was. For instance, until a couple years ago, I could run a small fraction of a marathon without breaking a sweat (probably because I suffered from a glandular disorder that prevented me from sweating).

These days, however, not only does running a small fraction of a small fraction of a marathon make me perspire as if I were hopelessly addicted to a cocktail of sweat-inducing prescription drugs (probably because I'm hopelessly addicted to a cocktail of sweat-inducing prescription drugs), it also occasionally makes my ankle ache.

My question, then, is this: What kind of invincible android from the future suffers the occasional ankle ache a mere 28 years after rolling off the assembly line? Seems obvious: the kind whose brilliant (yet unspeakably cruel) creator designed him to fully experience the human condition - including the slow descent into decrepitude.

Because I refuse to accept that such a deranged android-designing genius exists, I have to admit that I'm not really an android. I came face to face with this sad fact a few weeks ago, during my annual physical.

After giving me a brief once-over - many orders of magnitude briefer, in fact, than the wait that preceded it - my doctor suggested I have my cholesterol checked. I balked at this idea for thousands of reasons, but - due to "space constraints" (by which I mean "state-sponsored censorship") - I'll only elaborate on one: having my cholesterol checked meant having my blood drawn, and I like keeping my blood where nature intended - inside me.

Nonetheless, because I'd never had my cholesterol tested before (it hadn't seemed important when I thought I was an android), my curiosity got the best of me, and I found myself in the hospital's bloodletting chamber a week later.

The bloodletting procedure proved anticlimactic - I looked the other way and barely felt a pinch when the technician needled me. I thought I was pretty tough! Indeed, if I hadn't fainted when I accidentally glimpsed the vial of my blood, I might have second-guessed the whole "I'm not really an android" thing.

Dan Leonidas makes shallow observations. He can be reached at dpleonidas@yahoo.com or myspace.com/lastminuteconcerns.

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