OK, so two Fridays ago (Nine-o de Mayo! Yo soy bilingual!) I saw my Gym Crush at, um, the Gym while I was snuggling with my current boyfriend, the bench press. We talked briefly while I imagined his head encircled by the word "dreamy" and considered paint-penning the words "Dr. & Mrs. Gym Crush" on my Trapper Keeper, before he popped his earbuds in and started his actual workout. I was wrapping up my own attempts at exercise, which mainly consists of asking strangers if they're satisfied with their current footwear and seeing how far I can reach into the vending machines.*
I scaled the stairs to the cardio room and scanned the pink 60 point titles on the available vagazines, trying to find one without a cover story about yeast infections. I settled on a recent issue of Ladies' Home Journal, the one with Sally Field and an article about losing 10 pounds in 10 minutes** and climbed onto the elliptical machine. I was debating between programs called "Gluteal 1" and "Gluteal 2" when I saw him walk in. I waved--a goofy exaggerated gesture that would've been perfect if I was a minor-league mascot--but for some reason, he walked over and talked to me while I excitedly showered him with sweat and spittle for the duration of Gluteal 1.
We made our way outside together and stood in the parking lot, trading trivia about our lives until the entire place was deserted save for a man sleeping in his car and a drifter on a bike, who spent the better part of an hour weaving the same wobbly path on the sidewalk, muttering to himself about Jesus.***
He finally dismissed himself after I'd recounted my entire childhood, including the part where I used to strike out at tee-ball. I, of course, raced home to immediately deconstruct the entire conversation, recounting it to Pigpen as he gnawed on my left arm.
Things I Learned About Him Include:
- He is a proponent of CrossFit, a redonkulous athletic regimen whose daily workouts are named for dead people, quite possibly those who perished while doing the exercises. As far as I can tell, you don't stop lifting weights until you've achieved complete muscle failure and/or start to pee blood.
- Has a Wayne Campbell-Without-the-Cable-Access-Show living arrangement in his parents' house, one that I would definitely copy if the 'rents and I lived in the same state. They could boxersit The Pig while I spent my Friday nights eating selections from the House of Boyardee, watching Moesha reruns, and trying to harvest my own eggs.
- We talked about movies and There Will Be Blood came up. He said that he wanted to see it but couldn't take it seriously since Daniel Plainview looked exactly like the guy on the Red Baron pizza box.
- Aaaand the money shot... he reads this site. Thank you, FaceBooksheba for the backstabbery. Import note, import Chuck Taylors into wide open gob.****
I didn't see him again until Thursday, when I stumbled directly into his shoulder as he walked across the lobby of the gym. He gave a quick wave and said hey, but didn't slow down, and I assumed that I'd managed to fuck it up already. Or maybe it was just my t-shirt. My 50 cotton/50 poly was screened with a picture of Jimmy Carter***** and although Mr. Peanut's presidency and my life only overlapped for a couple of months, to him it was probably a pre-shrunk reminder that I'm ancient. Next time, I'll just drag a cotton gin behind me or loudly ask for a refill on my angina medication.
So Crayola me Shocked Pink when he bounded across the weight room on Friday evening and asked [insert Max Weinberg skins work] if I'd like to go see Iron Man. WITH HIM.
He waited for me to say something, idly fiddling with a rope attachment.
"Sure," I said, trying to sound nonchalant even though my aorta was rupturing. "That would be neat!".
I used the word "neat". And then I went home to stitch a poodle appliqué on my skirt.
But he called. And we Iron Man-ned and I tried to listen to him instead of SHARING EVERY THOUGHT IN MY HEAD, especially the ones that involved sopping Robert Downey Jr up with a biscuit.
I only spilled the awkwardsauce once. When the cashier asked him if he was a college student, he said yes and got a discount. She asked me the same question and the words "I wish" tumbled out, a response that meant that she addressed me as ma'am for the rest of the transaction and probably wondered why I wasn't at home plucking stray chin hairs and weeping.
We stayed for Nick Fury and then we were back in the parking lot, making awkward small talk and pushing imaginary pebbles with our feet. At one point he asked why I was still single, which I think he meant in a complimentary way but also could have been interpreted as "What the fuck is wrong with you?". It's the same kind of discerning question I ask when I find a Lacoste shirt at the thrift store and immediately assume that someone died in it.
It's interesting to be on this side of the age divide. I feel like Demi Moore. Or Susan Sarandon. Or Michael Jackson. And I'm increasingly OK with that.
* After months of stretching, I snagged my first bag of Sun Chips and the Y responded by clearing all of the treats off the bottom row. I'm either going to have to start scraping together some change or remove my arm bones.
** I didn't make it to the article but hope the secret was to cut off your own head.
*** He could've been saying "Cheeses". Either way.
**** He Enola Gay-ed me with this BombPop by saying that he didn't know why I'd noted his smile because he could "chop wood with [his] teeth", an observation that is totally false. He has lovely teeth, as opposed to the enamel-coated thumbtacks that jut out of my gums at irregular angles.
***** J-Cart's head is encircled with iron-on letters that read "Politicians Do It With Their Mouths". Yeah.