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Ozempic Envy – A short story by Franz Bradford.

Ozempic Envy – A short story by Franz Bradford.

By the way, most of these short stories, written and produced by Frontier Road podcast are done through a male perspective. It is this way because the writer and producer of the podcast are male, or males. We would love to have a female perspective, but we don’t have a female working with us or me. And we don’t have a budget for one. It’s just a hobby.

Onto the story.

Walks into Church.

Sits down at their favorite pew. Which being said as favorite, makes it sound like it is envied by them or others. It’s not. It’s just a comfortable pew. The pew they’ve sat at for the past 20 years of marriage. The pews they’ve seen their kids grown into and out of. The pew that feels empty now that their kids are leaving home. 

Husband looks over to wife. He notices a face that seems like something is off.

“What’s wrong honey?” I whisper to her. Softly. Thinking it might be something that I did. Maybe it’s because I’m a slop and didn’t clean up the dishes last night. Maybe it’s because I’m just an ass in general.

“Nothing.”

Then Silence for a time as I consider whether to press the issue.

“Well, I hope I didn’t do anything. I don’t think I did.” I say, self protectingly. That’s not a word self protectingly.

She doesn’t respond much, maybe a slight smirk as if she knows shes got me under her control. Maybe I’m reading that wrong. Maybe it’s a grimace to say that I’m a damned fool, which I am.

I lean back to whisper more to her, seeking that reassurance. Man, I really am a self conscious bastard. Always seeking everyone’s approval.

She puts her finger over her mouth to quiet me. As we listen to the sermon:

And Jesus, atoned for the blood and sins of this world. “As Christians, we must stand firm against those who do not uphold our values. We are called to be different from the world.”

Let us read in Matthew 7:13 through 14

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”

Now as Robert Frost spoke of the Road not Taken:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

And blah blah blah. I get so sick of these sermons. It’s either one where they pit them versus us, or it’s so over the top about God’s love for everyone. But that’s better, I prefer they talk about the all loving God, more than the all powerful one. But I’ve read their scriptures too, I know that God isn’t always loving everyone. There’s plenty of smite and vengeance. But our modern congregations can’t stomach those sermons. So we change God into the pollyana. Which is fine by me. Well it’s better by me. But it doesn’t ring entirely true either.

I don’t think about going to hell like I used to. I used to think about it. I just knew that was where I was going. Now, I just sit back and let God do what he wants with me. I’m not going to concern myself with it. And if there’s no God, that’s got to be fine to. Just trying to be here for my family as much as is reasonable.

(Play music)

Oh, here we go, now they want us to sing a hymn.

I don’t sing. Fine, I’ll sing.

I’m pretty self centered aren’t I. Here’s my wife, obviously something on her mind and I can’t stay with her for 10 minutes in her issue without considering mine.

“Hey hun, what’s the matter.”

I text her this time. It’s easy to text in church.

“Nothing”. “I just”. “Don’t you see all of these skinny women at church?” “They used to be my size.” “Now they’re skinny and they look good.”

I see her look at her phone and set it down. Then pick it up and set it down. Then pick it up and start typing.

“They’re all on Ozempic”, I text back. They’re like lab rats. Plus, look at them, they’re all looking like that alien on Independence Day with his skin falling off his bones.

Rich, doctors wives. They can have their ozempic. I prefer you just how you are.

I text all of this back to her and wait for her reaction.

She looks at her phone and sets it down, then looks back at the preacher.

“Let’s all open to Jeremiah 4:30:

What are you doing, you devastated one?
    Why dress yourself in scarlet
    and put on jewels of gold?
Why highlight your eyes with makeup?
    You adorn yourself in vain.
Your lovers despise you;
    they want to kill you.

What the hell. I text my wife.

What is he talking about?

He’s off the rails today.

She picks up her phone and looks at it. Then sets it down. Then she smiles. and grabs my hand.

THE END