Heather Shorey
3 min readMar 8, 2022

Of all the things I could complain about. I feel bad. I feel bad about complaining because sometimes people die. Sometimes there is war. Sometimes there are a lot of things that are probably worse than what I feel in my own life. For example, if some really scary person came up behind me and held a knife to my throat and was like, “Speak! Speak about what bothers you now or I cut.”

I might say, “My armpits.”

But it’s the front of my armpits. I have this trainer. His name is Peter. He makes muscles in the day, and words at night.

Peter has a girlfriend. She cooks him food. In return, he makes muscles for a price, and words for free. That’s the moonlighting part. The words. I feel like we all do a little moonlighting.

Peter makes me do these push-ups on a kettle bell. It’s stupid. All of it is stupid. My neighbors drink beer and taunt me while Peter makes me do these things.


Wilson always said I was fine the way I was. But Wilson is nice. Not everyone is nice.

I’ve tried to tell Wilson that I get insecure. There are a million reasons why I might be. He can’t really relate, but he pretends to. The thing is — when you get insecure, without knowing, you’re taking it out on the people you love. You’re giving them a burden they weren’t willing to take.

For awhile they may put up with it. They don’t want to be mean. They want to be there for you. But eventually, people are over it.

That’s when you need to think about your armpits.

No one cares about your armpits.

It’s probably one of the least sexiest parts of your body.

But still, you do push-ups. Why?

You hurt your armpits over and over. You walk around all day at the office with tender armpits and no one cares. You are the only one in the whole entire universe that can feel the pain in your armpits!

Maybe you’ll tell Peter about it. It will make him happy. He will be like, “Put a weighted vest on, this is great news!”

And you will adamantly without hesitation say, “No.”

But we strive. Still yet, we strive.

When I can’t anymore, Wilson will light a fire. He buys a bag of marshmallows. We will roast them, but I can’t eat them because Peter says it will give me fat armpits.

Wilson more or less does this to give us some time. To reflect. Feel. Get warm again.

Every so often I will burn a marshmallow and I will think, “Oh shoot, this is the good part,” while I look over and catch him drooling on himself, totally asleep.

And I feel bad.

Mostly because I know Wilson was thinking about making everyone happy. All the way to the point that he couldn’t anymore. The guy just fell asleep and started slobbering on himself.

Ever since the night he first did that — the first night he bought marshmallows to roast so we could just relax by the fire — I vowed to never take any of it for granted. Every night since then, I’ve put a Styrofoam cup under his chin and I’ve done ten push-ups. It’s my homily. It’s also the reason I ask him to go for a walk on Valentine’s Day. Because. I always know he will bring the marshmallows if I do.



Heather Shorey

Working the Craft. Experimenting Work(s) in Progress. Interested in Feedback for Further Development.