I went to the gym tonight, for the first time in a while.
How long is a while, you ask? Well, here’s a clue. I approached the counter, and handed my card to the soulless zombie behind the counter. “Gym, please.” I polited. She swiped the card.
“Braains,” she responded. Not really, what she actually said was “Uhm, you do realise that your account has expired?”
I felt that a “no” was implicit, so I didn’t say it. However, I wasn’t really surprised. I had had an inkling. It had been a while, you see. And I keep promising to tell you how long a while, but I never do. Sorry. Hang on in there.
“When, exactly?” I thought about asking. So I did.
She looked at her screen briefly. “Eleven oh eight?” she asked. This is not normally a question, but on this occasion it was. I assume that this can be explained by the presence of a silent “wtf?”
Clearly she wasn’t talking about 11:08am this morning. I assure you, nor am I. Now you start to get a picture about roughly how long a while is.
“Ah,” I said. And for good measure, an “eeeh” and a “hmnmm” and a “braains.”
Paused for thinkage.
“I don’t actually have my credit card with me, so I can’t renew right now. How much would it cost me to go in as a non-member?”
Tippity tappity chrunk klakkata. “Six ninety five.”
“I don’t have that on me either. Is there any… way… kinda…”
“Give me five ten and renew next time you’re in.”
And we’re in.
Inside the gym, I hop on a bike and manage about eight minutes before combined boredom and exhaustion fell me, so I wander off to do some pumping of the old ferrous. At some stage, I find myself in a corner, many metres away from anyone else, with a small bubble worming around in my colon.
The coast is clear. I can get away with it. Gently, I allow the bubble to depart from between my buttock cheeks. It emerges stealthily, like a ninja. However, much like the Spanish Inquisition, it has the element of surprise on its side. What it lacks in volume or grand entrances, it more than makes up for in maliciousness. It is, in a word, ferocious.
At this point, I spot a fellow gym-goer coming my way. “Oh no,” I moan internally. My brain starts performing calculations that involve inverse square laws, not that it would make any difference to the outcome. I say a silent prayer for the poor woman who is walking into my cloud of doom.
My salvation arrives in the form of a couple of moderately well built yet hideously ugly young men, who also choose to patronise my corner at that moment. I play both sides against the other with deft use of facial expressions, making it clear that though they may be suffering, they have no idea what I myself am going through, being as I am much closer to the despicable perpetrator. My cunning ruse works, and the rest of the session passes without incident.
And then it is time to walk home. I realise that my favourite aspect of going to the gym is the walk there, and the walk back. It gives me an opportunity to be well and truly alone, that kind of solitude that can not be attained in a shared office or with someone in the bedroom upstairs. It gives me a chance to do some aimless thinking, which there hasn’t been enough of between these ears lately. My brain drafts this post, and delivers it with a wink.