“That” Guy at the Gym

If I were to actually post photos of myself (or any photos for that matter – that day will come, I promise) on my blog, you will see I’m not much of a “gym” guy. Lately, I haven’t been much of an “exercise” guy. That in itself is weird for me as I’ve always been active. Even when I lived in Saudi Arabia for 5 years, I had joined a running club, played in a soccer league for ex-pats, and played touch rugby every week. I liked nothing better than to get my cardio in. But since I’ve been in Dubai, nearly 2 years now, I’ve gone for a run on three separate occasions. And when I say run, I actually mean struggle to pick up a pace that my 93 year old grandmother couldn’t eclipse with her walker.

Somehow I don’t become fat. I guess I still have that super high metabolism that has saved me in the past. Granted, I don’t eat as much (servings wise) as I used to, but I constantly nibble and my diet is pretty piss-poor. To the untrained eye, or those who do not know me, they’ll see a guy in pretty good shape. But I know better. I can feel that little inch or two of pudge around my belly, a pudge I’ve never had before. Women could wash their knickers on my stomach at one time. None ever did, but they could have. I played soccer for over 30 years – you get a pretty flat stomach and great ass with that. Lol. Just thought I’d throw that in.

So, while I could run all day, I didn’t like the gym. Weights and I don’t get along. For a guy who worked for 8 years as a laborer in a steel warehouse, lugging heavy pipes around, I don’t have the arms that people would expect to see. I’m a writer, not a fighter. And on every occasion I went to the gym, or even now in change rooms at golf courses or anywhere else, I always run in to the one guy who just happens to live in every city you’ve ever been to and has to be in the change room exactly when you are.

You’re done your workout, off the course, finished playing, whatever, and you’re sitting on the bench in front of the locker where your stuff is. You’re modest and respecting the modesty of others, your towel still wrapped firmly around you as you get your clothes ready to change into. He shows up. Usually he’s the perfect specimen, but sometimes, well, he’s not. You’re still sitting on the bench, trying to mind your own business when you hear the towel hit the floor. He’s an exhibitionist. He hasn’t even opened his locker so you know he’s just going to bask in his nakedness for a while. And he wants you to bask in it as well.

Have I mentioned that you’re sitting down still? Well you are. And right now, as you sit, staring at your toe nails that you’ve decided you need to trim, his pride and joy (even if his belly is so big he can’t see it, it’s still his pride and joy) is ticking like a pendulum of obscenity in front of you. He shares a laugh with someone, and not a giggle. He’s in full chuckle mode now. The pendulum has hit turbulence. Then the unimaginable happens. He decides the conversation he’s having with a person across the room is so intense he needs to put one foot up on the bench, knee bent, his leg standing on the ground straight and firm. You are now able and damn near obliged to make eye contact with his one-eyed trouser snake.

You freeze. You do not want to move in case there is accidental contact with any part of him. You search for reasons to hate him. You decide he’s got to be an ass. Anyone who wants to stand there and soak up that much attention has to be an ass. Sure, I like to be the centre of attention – but only when my clothes are on. Yeah, this guy is definitely an ass. You would not let him near your sisters. Douche with a capital D. Happy you’ve finally sussed him out, put him in his place as the low-life grease ball you’re sure he is, he condemns you to personal damnation and a second guessing of your whole piddly existence.

Staring up at the clock in the change room, he moves into action. He’s dressed in quick time. You’re thinking he’s got some girl with fake boobs, liposuction discount cards, and an affinity for golf balls and garden hoses waiting for him. His friend strides across the change room, asking him for drinks.

“Sorry, man.” Comes the reply as he fastens his watch to his wrist. “Thursday night. I always volunteer down at the soup kitchen on Thursdays.” You look around the room, a veritable sausage fest without the faintest hint of estrogen. He’s not lying to get laid. He’s not lying at all.

To make things worse, you start to wonder if your truly amazing sisters are actually good enough for him now.




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