(part 5 here)
The house lights came up and Kevin could see that he really was in a garage. There were oil spots on the cement floor and two trash cans sitting by the overhead door. There was the faint smell of gasoline and lawn mower.
"How are you doing? Holding up ok?" asked a stage hand.
"Um, ok I guess"
"Need anything? A glass of water?"
Kevin said, "No, I think I'm fine."
"Ok. We'll be going back on the air soon."
"Who's going to see this?"
The stage hand smirked a little. "No one. This is Paranormal Cable Access. I'm not even sure the cameras are plugged in." He walked off.
The house lights when back down and canned music started up. Barry turned to the cameras.
"Welcome back. If you're just joining us, we speaking with Kevin aka The Jogging Clydesdale. He's been telling us the most fascinating story of his recent weight loss and subsequent weight gain." He turned back to Kevin. "Now, I...you said you started blogging at the beginning of 2010? What did you write about?"
Kevin blushed a little. "Well, the truth is, I made one post about how I was going to start running again, and then didn't post again for several months."
"But it was a blog to showcase your growth as a runner you said."
"Yes, but it turned into something different," answered Kevin. "When my wife took ill that fall, when things became absolutely horrid at church, I started writing more personal entries relating to my health and growth in understanding myself. And my despair"
"Did you have a large following?" Barry asked.
"No," Kevin answered. "But I'm ok with that. I write for myself. Of course I'm pleased I have the small readership I do have. I've made quite a few friends, I think, and strengthened others. Those who did read told me that what I shared resonated with them."
"But what has it done for you?"
"The Jogging Clydesdale has let me explore myself, learn about myself, hate myself, love myself. It's helped me grow into myself."
"I'm glad you mentioned that internal growth because I'd like to introduce our very special guest." Barry turned to the cameras and said, "Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the garage, Mr. Left Hand Guy!"
Music swelled as did the applause. A man emerged from the shadows. He was the exact likeness of Kevin, but trim, athletic, charming and gorgeous. He walked toward Kevin with a bit of a swagger. He also had a black goatee, unlike Kevin who has a red beard. There's no doubt about it, the man was handsome.
"Welcome Mr. Guy"
"Thanks Barry, and I prefer it if you'd use my initials, LHG. It's how Kevin refers to me on his blog."
Kevin sat is stunned silence as Barry and LHG bantered a bit more. He could not fathom how this was even possible. LHG was a narrative device Kevin used to explore the darker side of himself. He was not real. Kevin could not understand how this was possible.
"Kevin, I get the feeling you don't understand how this is possible," said Barry. "But if you can bring LHG to life in your blog, I certainly can in this parody. Now please close your mouth."
Kevin swallowed hard.
"Now, LGH" Barry started, "you are Kevin's nemesis, correct?"
"That's not true," LHG objected. "I'm only his enemy because he wants me to be."
"No, seriously. He uses me to tell him how horrible he is, to convince himself that he is a bad person, a weak person."
"Why?" asked Barry.
"So he can have someone to fight and argue with to convince himself that he is strong."
"Kevin, is this true?"
Kevin paused before answering. "Yeah, I guess so. I just never thought of it that way."
LHG smiled. "The truth is Barry, Kevin, I am only what you make me to be. Remember a recent conversation we had in your head? I told you to let me heal. You haven't, but I promise when you do, I will rock your entire existence."
Kevin scoffed again. "Yeah, right."
"See Barry, he created me and even he doesn't trust me."
"How can I trust you when you've said such awful things to me?" Kevin replied with a hint of anger.
"Because you wanted me too," LHG yelled back. "It's as simple as that. Fat Me and Thin Me too. We are what you want us to be. If you still need me in those awful conversations, I'll be there. I'm damn good at what I do," said LHG. "And I am that good because you are that damn good at doing it to yourself."
Kevin sat back, a little sullen. Barry jumped into the conversation.
"Now Kevin, the reason we brought LHG onto the show is that he really wanted you to know these things. Does this make you uncomfortable?" he asked.
"Well, Barry, it does a little. I have always thought of him as evil, or at least a bastard. I don't know how to deal with a part of me that I've hated for so, so long starts telling me to embrace it. That it's 'here for me,'" Kevin stopped for a moment. "No. I do not like him. He makes me uncomfortable I want him to go away."
Barry was unsure of where to go from that. He flipped up his next index card and brightened a bit. He asked, "You were able to start the hospital program again, right Kevin?"
"That's right. The fall of 2011."
"And how has that worked for you, Kevin?"
"To be honest, Barry, I had hoped for more. I've lost 40 to 50 pounds, depending on where I choose to start. I had hoped for so much more after being back for a year. I am quite disappointed," said Kevin.
"See what he does?", asked LHG to no one in particular. "Kevin, 50 pounds in one year? Are you kidding me? That's huge! And you're running again. You ran two races this fall. And you've increased your time and distance the last few months. You're pace is dropping like a stone. And you think you've failed?"
"Yes, I do. And I don't think I'm wrong. I should be thinner and prettier," said Kevin, crossing his arms.
"I give up. I'll see you at the next conversation in your head." LHG crossed his own arms and slowly faded away.
"How'd he do that?" Kevin asked.
"He's a figment of your imagination. He can do anything you want him to do. We're on this journey because you wanted to take it," said Barry. It was the first time in the whole show that Barry had turned solemn .
"Can we get it over with, please? Let me get on to the Ghost of Weight Loss Future. This whole thing is starting to piss me off."
"Hey, it's your show. But before you go, I want to ask you one more question. Why are you afraid?"
There was the sound of 476 Germans named Hans wearing lederhosen screaming !WHOOMP!
(part 7 here)