Tuesday, November 15, 2005


I needed a new post to get my last title removed from the top of the list. Note to most writers: the half life of word puns isn't that much. Anyway, it's 5:30, I'm ready to go home. I have two options: indulge and head to the Old Dundee, have an order of onion rings, put a few dollars in the juke box, play a few games of pool while drinking a few microbrews. Orrrr, haul my tired ass to the gym and work on my cardio and my 'core' (another way to say 'abds'). Discipline won out.

While at the gym, my ego takes a few punishing shots. I bench press 75 pounds, but a pain shoots deep in my left shoulder. I can only do three reps. I curse internally. After a few more exercises, my upper body is so weak, I can barely lift the weight for this last exercise - an iron maiden-like contraption known as the 'pec-dec' machine. I feel angry and defeated. I feel like dragging my knuckles on the mats and throwing stuff. But I realize that I pushed myself to my limit - even though my limit now isn't nearly as good as my limit say a year ago.

I sit on this exercise ball and start to do some crunches. A few feet away from me is this guy who is wearing a very loose muscle shirt, exposing his perfectly-defined sides. He's muscular, but not muscle-head muscular. And he had a cute, messed-up hair style with the right highlights. His chest, calves and obliques looked like they were sculpted by an artist. But I'm careful. I have a rule at the gym: do not look at anyone for more than two seconds. I realize this may make me look like an excited border collie, but it's far better to look distracted than to look like a leering pervert. His eyes meet mine while I was looking at him at around 1.34 seconds of my look. I panic. You don't want to look away, because that implies you were looking - especially in the heart of conservative Omaha. I move my left side and stretch my neck a bit to make it look like I was looking at the clock.

The workout ends. I'm glad that I'll be energized enough to write this story for The Reader when I get home. Nothing left to do but hit the sauna and steamroom. The sauna and steamroom - yes, that's the spot for many fantasies for cybersex and bad gay fiction. But for me, the sauna and steamroom are off limits for any sort of scoping out guys. This is a domain where people go when they are dinged up or exhausted from their workout. It's a spot to chill and reflect. It's not a spot where anyone should feel uncomfortable in the presence of others. It's not a place to play out your Queer as Folk fantasies - at least this steamroom is not.

I shower and step on the scale. I'm worried as hell. I haven't weighed myself since I ate a seven-course meal at the French Laundry. This weekend, I helped my mom and my sister's clan paint a house and clean the outside windows and clean out the contents of a garage. A weekend at mom's means eating starchy, bland food (e.g. mashed potatoes, Village Inn-bought pie). I wince and look - 167. Eight pounds less than when I weighed myself on Nov 3. I get off the scale and weigh myself again, thinking the scale had this mysterious 'ten pound' glitch. 167 again. Keep in mind my diet hasn't changed - if anything I've slacked off - and I've exercised less. I turn the weight scale to 'zero' and it balances perfectly. I suppose that's awesome - but the last time I've lost that much weight that soon - I couldn't keep anything down for a week as a result of a killer flu. Stress couldn't do this ... could it? It's one of those times where your ego is boosted ("wow, this was my goal by New Year's!") and you get a sense of foreboding ("this is totally f**ked up")at the same time.

So - in short - gym etiquette:
1 - there are cute guys there, but try to obey the 'two second' gaze rule
2 - if you sweat like hell, please, please wipe the machines when you're done
3 - steamrooms and saunas = chill out places, not bathhouses

Preemptive strike
Drawn Together - It's a crude cartoon on Comedy Central. Some of the best comedy comes from crude humor, but there're usually other humor elements in it, such as satire (George Carlin is crude, early Beavis and Butthead episodes were crude, South Park is crude). But putting in stuff just to see how far you can push censors is so Andrew Dice Clay. The worst part of Drawn Together is its golden premise - reality TV show, played by cartoon characters. They had a great concept, but they had to f**k it up.


Post a Comment

<< Home