Monday, October 3, 2011

Balance #GBE2

We catch up with Best Dad Evar at the gym that’s just a few blocks from his home. It’s actually quite late, 9 PM, so the gym is mostly populated by the die-hard regulars (the buffed out weight fiends) and those who are too shy about their physiques and/or their workouts to attend earlier in the day. Best Dad Evar’s loose clothes and paunch suggest he is in the second category. Best Dad has worked up quite a sweat, so much so that he’s dripping on the elliptical training machine. He seems to be successfully staying aboard the eighteen-inch-long and six-inch-wide pedals, but just barely. Occasionally his body jerks awkwardly as if one of the pedals has dropped out from underneath his foot unexpectedly, although from any angle it can be seen that the pedals aren’t going anywhere but in their normal ovals.
“Are you all right, Best Dad Evar?” A voice breaks through the music playing in his tiny earbuds.
“Uh,” Best Dad Evar pauses to catch his breath, “Yeah,” there’s another pause, “I’mfine,” and yet another pause, “Why-”, he puffs in another breath, “D’y’ask?”
“Because it looks like you’re about to fall off that machine!”

“Well-“ Best Dad puffs again and then stops pedaling. He leans over the console of the machine and starts panting like a long-haired retriever on a summer day. Over the course of the next minute his breathing slowly returns to normal. “-my brother-“
“Your brother again?”
“The same.” Best Dad tosses his drab sweatshirt over his shoulder, ready to leave the gym. He strides toward the exit door, shooting a smile at one of the attractive young girls that the gym always posts at their front desk. He is unsurprised by the fact that her eyes break contact with his as soon as possible.
“Yeah, that’s what I thought.” He mutters under his breath once he’s past her station.
“What’s that, Best Dad?”
“They’re afraid if they smile back at an old guy like me, I’ll get the wrong idea and start stalking them.”
The narrator simply chuckles at this absurd interpretation. “Best Dad, you always think the worst of people.”
“Yeah, well. Would it kill them to throw a bone my way every once in a while? I’m a nice guy, and I’m happily married. But I still like to get a smile from a pretty girl. It doesn’t have to mean anything!”

The narrator decides to move on, “You were saying about your brother?”
“Oh, yeah.” Best Dad pauses for a long moment to regain his previous train of thought, “We were talking about my brother, weren’t we…,” He pauses another moment, his short term memory completely failing him once again. “Um, exercising and my brother.” There’s another pause. His eyes brighten up as the light bulb goes off finally. “Oh! I remember. My brother got me started on those ellipticals.”
“How did he do that?” the narrator simply prompts him.
“Did I tell you that in addition to being a world traveler and shit-disturber, he’s also a fitness freak?”
“No, you hadn’t mentioned that.” The narrator replies
“Well, he is. So, when it comes to staying in shape, I actually listen to him a little.”
“Well, he told me that as we age one of the most important things you can do when you work out is exercises that help you maintain good balance.”
“These elliptical machines help you work on that?”
“He told me they do.”
“It doesn’t look like it’s going very well in your case.”
Best Dad Evar laughs heartily, but then stops laughing suddenly, a sad look clouding his face. He’s now standing at the driver’s side door of his old car, the one with the peeling paint along the roof and hood. You might think he was contemplating his own reflection in the dusty window of the car, but you’d be mistaken.

“What are you thinking, Best Dad?”
“I don’t like getting old.”
“No, nobody does,” the narrator replies with a softly sympathetic tone.
Best Dad stares into the driver’s side window of his still-parked car. It seems he’s forgotten his train of thought once again.
“Um, Best Dad, did you forget to do something?”
Best Dad snaps to attention. He looks at the car for a moment. Then he pats the pocket that he usually keeps his keys in. “Crap.” He pats the other pocket in his sweats and comes up empty again. Next, he whips the sweatshirt off of his shoulder. He feels the pockets, but the lack of a jingle is a dead-giveaway. The keys won’t be there. His shoulders slump.
“Shee-it.” He says, his lips crinkling into a disappointed frown. He trudges slowly back toward the gym to commence the embarrassing search. At the front desk, the otherwise perky young woman in the form fitting t-shirt gives Best Dad a sidelong glance, then carefully looks the other direction as he sidles through the already open door.
He throws up his hands in exasperation and says one word “Keys!” as he arrives at the scanner that typically responds to the plastic thingy on his keychain. She looks down at her homework and chuckles softly, waving him through the entry without a hassle.


Jo said...

Bless his old, outa shape heart! Keys stoopid keys were his undoing.
I'm not particularly fond of this aging thing either, like Best Dad, but the alternative isn't looking all that good to me just yet.
I still believe the best is yet to come!
I love your stuff, all of it! Please keep me smilin'!

Angela Parson Myers said...

Yeah, I haul my carcass down to the gym at least once a month. I go in the early afternoon after all the white collar workers who come in during their lunch hours are gone. i move back all the weights on the machines and climb up into the seats, where I kind of dangle while I attempt to curl all of 10 pounds. But hey, I have the biggest biceps at the senior lunches. (Just kidding. I don't go to the senior lunches. Could, but I don't. ( - : )

Kathy said...

There is nothing worse than going to the gym and being out of shape!! One time I went and ended up throwing up in a corner and passing completely out. They had to revive me with smelling salts. I was so embarrassed, I never went back. My carcass is even more out of shape than before because it is just too embarrassing to haul myself to the gym and stand beside all the buff and toned people that make a regular habit passing judgment with their glances. In reality, I probably need to be there more than they do. Great post as always...I sure can feel for you. Hate getting old. It is no fun at all.


Anonymous said...

I have a feeling that in time, Best Dad Evar will become Best Gradddad Evar and he'll rock at that, too.

Anonymous said...

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mmbear said...

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