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Aryn Kyle

When I was in middle school, Monday was President's Physical Fitness Test day in gym class. Our teachers had clip boards where they recorded how many sit-ups we could do, how many push-ups, how many sprints. It was dirty business, Monday. Agony. My arms were like little white noodles. I couldn't do a pull-up, not a single one. I would hang from that bar with my elbows buckled while on both sides of me, stringy armed girls would keep talking with their friends as they did their thirty-eighth, their thirty-ninth, their fortieth pull-up. Why did the President care how many pull-ups I could do? Why? I imagined George Bush at his desk, paging through the lists and shaking his head as he thought, 'Aryn Kyle still isn't making it to the top of that rope.' The President never asked how many state capitols I knew or how many spelling words I got right. But boy, did he want to hear about my athletic inadequacies. I think this is why I vote Democrat.

Aryn KyleLuckily, my inability to climb a rope all the way to the top has not hindered my life in any serious way. There just aren't too many times during day to day life when you find that you really need to climb a rope. Not that I have anything against people who are into climbing up ropes. To each his own.

I spend my non rope-climbing time in Missoula, Montana, where I live with two little cats, an increasing nicotine addiction, and a piano I don't know how to play. I recently received my MFA in fiction from the university here and I'm hoping that if I just hang around long enough, I will realize what it is that I'm supposed to do with my life. In the meantime, I'm working on a novel, begging money from my (incredibly generous) parents, and calculating the number of decades it is going to take me to repay my student loans.

You can reach Aryn Kyle at Kylea5@aol.com.

Aryn Kyle's writing on Conversely

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