I don’t like going to the gym. Not for the usual reasons, or at any rate what I imagine the usual reasons to be. I feel better if I exercise, enjoy feeling as though I am not just observing a slow decline into senescence and eventual death. It is boring, though. I’d rather be playing. Not sports, because I don’t like teams and I’m not competitive—but playing, an otter in a pool, a pig in shit, a dog chasing its own tail. I’d say “like a child” but children are exhausting. My niece is not yet two and she’s up, down, thither, hither, and yon. It’s as if everything is new to her (of course it is) and she can’t get enough. Sleep is repugnant to her, until it absolutely can’t be avoided, her eyes drooping, legs no longer working, head lolling. Of course puppies do that, too. It’s adorable, until it’s you chasing them around, feeling older, closer to death (blissful death), wondering how in the world anyone could have that much energy.
Maybe not everyone is like this—maybe Tom and Giselle chase their children around while maintaining their above-average looks, never getting winded, never wishing they could stop for a moment and drink their latte while sitting down. I turn pink when I exercise, down to my eyelids, as if I were going to pass out from heat stroke. I don’t understand all those mirrors at the gym, as if witnessing my own hideousness should encourage me. Instead I realize, for the umpteenth time, that in spite of all the classes, the instructor’s ass is a 10 and mine is—well, I won’t rate it. Suffice to say I think about stringy old chickens, tough old birds, every time I catch a glimpse of my red, sweating face. Stupid gym. Stupid old age.