The kid at the gym hears a song and tells me he thinks it is nonsense but I shake my head ‘cuz I know he is wrong.
“Dude, this isn’t the eighties and things are different now.”
“That might be the dumbest thing I have heard today and I already read Trump’s tweets.”
Milliseconds pass before I see a skinny middle finger extended in my direction.
“You don’t know what it is like to try to get a girl to notice you.”
“Right, in my day I didn’t get to swipe right. I had to have the courage to look her in the eye or call her on the phone and ask her to go out with me. That is harder than swiping.
I got to hear them tell me that timing or circumstances were wrong or listen to them laugh and ask why I though they would go out with me.”
We go back and forth and he babbles at me some more and eventually he asks if there is one that got away.
“No, I use double padlocks and coventry chains.”
“Dude, don’t joke like that. Your kind of scary.”
I let the silence grow and wait to see if he squirms and tell him he used two words too many in that last sentence.
“Not ‘kind of,’ there is no modifier needed.”
He cocks his head to the side and tells me he knows it is a joke.
“You’re kidding, I know you are kidding. Right?”
Stories Of The Silly & Sublime & Timing
There are three flat benches lined up in a row but given a choice I always pick the one on the end.
There is no rhyme or reason for it, it is an arbitrary decision I made months ago and now I get irritated if it is not available when I want to use it.
It is a silly thing to be irked about. I don’t own the gym and there are many more important issues, but sometimes the little things prick us.
I stand over it and silently say 350 for 50.
Don’t know why I picked 350, maybe it is because it is simple math given the age I’ll be when my birthday rolls around.
I try to visualize what that will lo0k like.
The bar weighs 45 pounds. I routinely place two 45 plates on either end of the bar and push that sucker up and down.
That is 225 pounds.
I can’t do as many reps as I want to with 225, but I also know it is not where I max out. I can go heavier.
Gut says I can probably put up 275, but that still leaves me 75 pounds short of that 350 I mentioned before.
“What is your plan? What is the map for getting from here to there?”
The question remains unanswered, people frown upon seeing others talk aloud to themselves but that’s not the reason for the silence.
I am interested in hitting 350 but the truth is I don’t feel the need for developing a plan. Throwing iron around comes with the same ease as placing words on a page.
I am built for demolition. It is not the same as preparing for an Ironman.
That is something different and something I used to think about doing quite a bit. It is a much more impressive accomplishment to me.
Can’t help but wonder if I am letting inertia prevent me from going after the bigger deal but before I can consider the kid is back.
“Have you ever wanted to get a second chance with someone?”
“How did you get them to listen to you and did they come back? How long did it take?”
I refer him to the Whitman quote and say that is the first bar they have to pass.
“Can I be locked in a closet or stuck on a desert island with them? Would we spend hours on the phone, sometimes saying nothing because we had work to do but felt better hearing the other person breathing?
If it is not that level, well I don’t know if it is worth the effort.”
He tells me about the girl and why he wants to spend time with her and I realize that though I can relate I am not a twenty something anymore.
Truth is, I do but not to the kid.
He hasn’t earned the right nor has he the experience.
It is more of a best friend or former best friend conversation.
That gets me thinking about what that does or doesn’t mean. Do those friendships go into suspended animation because life gets in the way or do they get severed because of lack of connection.
Who We Are/Were
The kid at the gym doesn’t know about dad or how some of his comments/questions have set off things in my head.
It really doesn’t take much right now to get me thinking about what things look like today and what I want them to look like in the future.
There is a constant noise inside my head that varies between the tick-tock of a clock and the sound of sand in an hour glass.
Sometimes I see pictures on Facebook and shake my head because I have known the person since before high school.
I recognize who they are now but I remember who they were then.
There is nothing wrong with growing older, it is better than the alternative but still, it sometimes throws me to realize how much time has passed and to consider the possibilities of how much time is left for the future.