Sunday, August 28, 2016


I saw one of my old neighbors at the gym yesterday.  I hadn't seen him for about a year, but he is retired and probably goes at a time I am working.  Yesterday, he was on one of those chair bikes pedaling away slowly.  I was slow myself.  I went outside and took a long walk then came inside to sit in the sauna for twenty minutes.  There were things I just wanted to sweat out.  I never use the sauna, but after using it yesterday, I wondered why.  It felt wonderful.  I've not been getting my money's worth for sure.

When I got out and showered, I saw my old neighbor in the locker room.

"Is it getting any easier?" I asked him.

His reply was predictable.  Everything hurts.  It takes a long time to get out of bed in the mornings.  He can't do what he used to do.

"Remember when you could go out in the heat and weed for four hours and think nothing of it?" he asked me.

I remember a lot of things.  But yea, I remember.  He is turning 75 and still looks good.  That is the new world, I think.  We still look good, but like a store-bought tomato, what's on the outside doesn't tell you much about what's going on inside.  We try to keep that a secret.

I keep going at things like I am twenty-something, but I hurt all the time.  I have to quit it.  I have to be nicer to myself, kinder.  I still look like I could kick your ass, but I couldn't.  Store-bought tomato. I'm going to slow down a little.  I can't go to the gym every day.  It is a horrible waste of time.  I would tell kids that, but they wouldn't listen.  There are other things to do, too.  The inside of a gym is a horrible place.  So is a baseball field or a soccer field.  Not really, but obsessively.  There are other things.  Build a fort or draw something or make something good to eat.  Lie on your back and look at the clouds.  And of course, read books.

No, they wouldn't listen.  Why would they?

I got beautified yesterday before I went to the gym.  My beautician told me about her life, her love life mostly.  She is dating a young kid (that's what she said).  She doesn't care what people think any more.  She just wants to have fun.  Any of us could drop dead tomorrow.  She has taken up dancing and weight training and has transformed herself.  She is pretty.

Her new boyfriend walked into the parlor as I was paying.  Oh, my.  I want to tell her. . . but she wouldn't listen.  Why would she.

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