Friday, March 11, 2005

Under the Volcano

Have you ever seen two really unattractive people in their fifties making out at a gym on a bench beside the swimming pool?

You haven't? Well, just ask me, then. I'm the expert.

I get up this morning and my back is killing me. My stomach has been bothering me, so I slept much more upright than usual. That messed up my back. If I was a car, I'd get broken down and sold for parts.

I'm swimming anyway, though. Gloria suggested that I shouldn't work out because I wasn't feeling well and I said "You don't get fit on the days that you feel like working out. You get fit on the days that you don't." I swear, I actually said that. And I'm not even a motivational speaker or anything. As I was speaking, I kind of stepped outside myself, took a look, and said "Who is THAT dude?"

Here's the funny thing about working out, though, and if you work out frequently, you're going to recognize this--some of the best workouts in my life have come when I'm not feeling well. I read an article once that discussed how many great athletic performances had come when the athlete had a minor illness or wasn't quite right, and it speculated that people were more focused in that situation to try to compensate for their diminished physical condition. I'll never do anything remotely "great" athletically, but in a much smaller way, I've felt that.

The pool felt lousy today. I've felt like Joe Frazier in the pool for about two weeks now. So I'm kind of slogging through it, and I decided I'd stop after half an hour if I didn't feel any better. I get through about twenty-five minutes and it's been awful, and I'm glad I'm only got five minutes to go, and then suddenly I'm in the slot with my stroke. My back hurts, my stomach hurts, I feel lousy, but I'm in, and I can feel it, and I absolutely hammer for about ten minutes before it goes away. I think I got a week's worth of endorphins in that ten minutes. I needed them.

I get out of the water, and my back still hurts, and my stomach still hurts, and I still feel lousy, but I'm a new man. There's a bench at the side of the pool, and I have my towel and swim bag at the end of the bench, so I sit down to dry off and put some of my gear away.

There are two people at the other end of the bench, and by "other end" I mean about four feet away. They're a couple, apparently, and the man is standing with his hand on the woman's shoulder as she sits on the bench. They're both in their fifties, I'm guessing, and they both have kind of a vagely sleazy vibe about them, like it's an ex-pornographer reuniting with an ex-Vegas showgirl.

Pornstache. Big, big hair. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

There is something wrong with their swimsuits, though. Let me try to get a visual for you: imagine two policeman assigned to crowd control, and there are tiny barriers to hold back a thousand people, and then the crowd storms the barricade and breaks through and suddenly they're ALL OVER. The policeman is frantically calling into his radio for backup, but there's nothing else he can do.

Those policeman are swimsuits, and the mobs are bodies, and you can figure it out from there. I'm looking through my gym bag for a tear gas cannister. Dudes in their fifties shouldn't wear banana hammocks for swimsuits. You don't even WANT to know what the woman was wearing.

Now I used the phrase "making out" in the opening. I mean "making out" like you're afraid the ex-pornographer is going to tap you on the shoulder and ask for a condom. I see tongue.

God help me, I see the suggestion of erect nipples pressing against a swimsuit.

At this moment, my survival instinct kicks into gear. Don't look at the hammock. DO NOT look at the hammock.

They're talking in a foreign tongue (see-tongue again), and I'm wondering if I know how to say "Please return all your genitalia to their proper storage containers" in any of the Romance languages.

This has all taken place in less than a minute, and as soon as my gear is packed, I'm gone. The last involuntary glimpse I get indicates that they're going horizontal, and that's a plane I don't want to be on. The Mile High Club will have to leave without me.

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