I cut just over a third of the words from the previous draft of “We Want Tone.” I like to practice revision on pieces I’m not radically invested in. Sometimes, the drafting and revising of a so-so work gives me a piece I’m more likely to continue exploring or revising. Even if I eventually abandon a practice piece, the practice remains worthwhile. I spent about an hour cutting words from the following and re-ordering some of the dialogue. I also made small changes to format.
Kelly leaves the gym dressed in the spandex tights and moisture-wicking shirt she put on that morning. She’s late to meet two prospective clients, who wave her over at the coffee shop. Jill nudges an iced latte across the table and points to Kelly’s shirt. Strong Is The New Sexy. “I love that,” says Jill, “I wanna be the new sexy.”
“Me too,” Abi says.
Kelly smiles, takes out her tablet, swiping the screen to open
Jill and Abi
“I really need this,” says Jill, “I feel like a box after two kids. No waist.” She runs her palms ribs to hips. “Forty-eight kilos, but I want a waist again.”
“We want tone,” Abi says.
Jill and Abi
“And I want a butt,” Jill says, “I used to dance. But I want a butt like yours.”
Kelly laughs. “Well, squats work.”
“I have a butt,” Abi says, “And a belly.” She takes handfuls of her stomach rolls and laughs. “I’m mostly in this for health. She suggested it.”
“If we do it together, we’ll actually workout,” Jill says.
Kelly types, looks up. “I can meet twice a week. We’ll use bodyweight and progress to small weights.”
“How long is a session?” Abi asks.
“I’m gonna die after ten minutes,” says Jill, “I’ll be like, begging to stop.”
“What about food? Do you do any nutritional consultation?” Abi asks.
“We saw your grilled chicken on Instagram,” Jill says.
“Yeah, we looked you up. You eat really healthy,” says Abi.
Kelly isn’t surprised they looked her up. “I can give you a few recipes. Meats and veg.”
“I love love love veg,” Jill says, “Just so expensive. I buy frozen.”
“I prefer raw,” Kelly says, “But, yeah, expensive. Especially organic.”
“Oh my God,” Jill says, “I bought a little tray of organic blueberries at Sultan and paid like twenty-three dollars. Kids ate them like candy.”
“I can’t afford organic,” says Abi.
“Co-ops are good for produce,” Kelly says.
“Yes, totally,” Jill says.
“I started making green smoothies for breakfast,” says Abi.
“Yummy,” says Kelly.
“I eat a couple eggs too.”
“I thought egg was bad,” Jill says.
“No. Good,” says Kelly.
“They’ll be bad again. I read leeks cause cancer. Everything is bad.”
“Except booze,” Abi says and the two friends laugh. “You should see her drink,” Abi says.
Jill holds up her hands. “Guilty. Which is why I so need this.”
“Right,” says Kelly, “Let’s figure out days.”
“Anything,” says Jill, “I mean, forty-eight kilos means nothing if I’m not healthy. I want a waist.”
“Having a waist doesn’t mean healthy,” Kelly says.
“So I get healthy and get a waist.”
“Sure, that can happen.”
“And a butt.”
“And a butt.” Kelly adds to her note.
Abi pulls her phone from her bag and opens the calendar. “I can do Saturdays.”
“And Mondays,” Jill says, “Sevenish okay?”
“Sure. You’ll go to bed tired.”
“Good,” Abi says, “I can’t fall asleep.”
“Okay,” says Kelly, “I’ll probably need you to move furniture to have enough space.”
“No problem,” says Jill, “Hubby can pick up stuff on base too. What do we need?”
“Just mats for now.”
“Okay. I’m so excited. My body just – I’m gonna die.” Jill finishes her iced latte.
Kelly closes her tablet, smiles, holds up her empty coffee. “Thanks for this. I’ll see you ladies Saturday at seven.”
“Awesome. I’ll text directions,” Jill says.
“Awesome,” says Kelly.