Monday, January 9, 2012

Fun Times At Gym Nosferatu

The reason I did not make resolutions this New Years is simple: I’ve already joined a damn gym. I joined in September and, what’s more, I still go.   In fact, I go there three times a week. And by go there I don’t mean lurk in the lobby, but all the way in to use their equipment--eight different pieces of their equipment. And if the Noisy Bonehead with the Shit-Eating Grin is not in there too, I use the machines for ninety whole minutes. If the bonehead IS there, however, I throw up and flee. Sometimes concurrently, which is not only hard, but way unattractive.

My friends are astounded at my new discipline, but in the words of Mae West, discipline had nothing to do with it. My sole motivation was and is terror--the terror I feel when I realize the flesh that hangs from my arms (the gym calls them triceps) could easily be repurposed as drapes, by which I mean those extra-length drapes fashionably designed to pool on the floor. After working out for four months, they’ve become just enough more like two cafĂ© curtains to keep me going the rest of my life.

Of course I couldn’t have joined up at all if this weren’t the only gym in our universe (trust me, I checked) that doesn’t bombard its members with music. This must be because, as with my lovely Cadavercise class (which I still attend twice a week), this gym exists in a hospital setting. You don’t have to be ancient or ruined to use it, but you do need a note from your doctor saying you probably won’t die on the treadmill. And most of the ancients I see on the treadmills (some of whom remind me of Samuel Beckett, some, more alarmingly, of Nosferatu) come strictly for the Cardiac Rehab.

But back to the Bonehead, who reminds me of cinema's great Dr. Evil, if Dr. Evil had spent his salad days getting concussed on a football field and the rest of them watching every game ever played in order to come to my gym and make concussed comments about them while perched on his bike like a hideous albatross.  An albatross whose bellows are just as nasal as they are loud. An albatross who, when he’s not sitting atop his unmoving bike but actually roaming loose on the floor, sneaks up behind others and jokingly shakes their machines to startle them unto hilarious death.

Personally, I think Bonehead should be barred from the gym, as well as the world, but since he is not, and since hearing him speak is ten times worse than hearing a garbage truck playing rap music, all I can do is avoid him like plague.

And, lest you think I’m the most hypersensitive person alive, which I am, I’m not the only person who feels this way. A very kind woman (the same one who corrected my form on the rowing machine as well as the odious arm curl) told me once in a whisper that “the loudmouth comes Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, from 11:30 to 1:00” even as the loudmouth was mouthing.

Which is why I go Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. But occasionally something comes up and, lest I miss even one opportunity to turn those drapes into tight Roman shades if not paralyzed blinds, I have to go on a Bonehead Day, and then, of course, I go well after 1:00.

But last Friday, while curling my arms well after 3:00, I heard it again--that blood-curdling bleat--and promptly lost count of my now spastic reps.

I saw him then, perched on his bike in full stupid glory, with that shit-eating grin all over his face. My disgust and sense of betrayal (after all, I’d come when it was supposed to be safe) were such that, before I knew it, I found myself giving Bonehead the stinkeye. By which I mean really serious stink eye.

“Am I in trouble?” he sneered like some incorrigible five year old boy, which, thanks to football, either playing or watching, I think he might neurologically be, for which I know I should have compassion, but, since he’s huge and aggressive, do not.

I could have said “Yes!” but that would have made too much noise so I put my finger to my lips and said “Shhh.” Then, lest I find myself using the gym’s handy defibrillator to beat him to a still grinning pulp, I ran right out of Gym Nosferatu. And took myself out to overeat  pizza, which, since I work out now, I understand I can do every day.