Creative Juice

Strange things are afoot at the local gym

The Dreadmill

I joined the gym recently and noticed a few things that had me puzzled:

  • There has been this pickup truck in front of the gym with this guy sitting in there and hanging out with his dog, looking like he’s cleaning the car. This wouldn’t be so weird, except that I’ve gone 3 times in the past week and he’s been there every time, doing the same thing. Super secret spy? Smooth disguise, man. The Hawaiian shirt’s a nice touch.
  • A dusty, 90’s style Pacific Bell phone booth came up from within the floors while I was sitting in the sauna, and it was full of storm troopers. I didn’t know what to make of this. No one else noticed, because they were all glued to their iPhones. The gym members, not the storm troopers.
  • The treadmill in front of the TV that has Fox News keeps sticking. It wouldn’t stop, when I pressed the button because I wanted to switch to another treadmill after realizing I was in front of Fox News. Talk about torture. I ended up jumping off. Clearly an invisible ultra-conservative gremlin was nearby, cackling.
  • So, I went to the circuit loop area, or whatever it’s called. You know, the place with the timer that counts down 45 seconds to use a machine, then gives you 15 seconds to switch to the next machine? Well, there is often at least one guy there who ignores the timer and stays at the same machine, which means you got to skip over that machine, which throws the whole thing off. Chaos unfolds, and a black hole opens up in the ceiling, and you have to hold on really tight to the closest machine until it winks out of existence. I blame that guy. He’s messing it all up.
  • 40 pounds has somehow, in the 4 years since I last frequented a gym, become extraordinarily heavy. I mean, 40 pounds used to very clearly be 40 pounds. Now it’s definitely the real truth but I am in denial not true anymore. It is clearly lying, and 40 pounds is now definitely 80 pounds. I know, because my arms say it is so.

Overall, even though there is some strangeness, it feels good to go again. I may not be as strong as I used to be, but I’m there. Well, not right this minute. Today is BRAIN DAY. Tomorrow is arm day.

By J. Parrish Lewis

J. Parrish Lewis was born and raised in Maryland. In his youth there, he and his brother had many adventures in the dogwood forests near his home. His nostalgia for these adventures has strongly influenced his characters, their relationships, and their perspective on the world they inhabit. He moved to California’s coast to earn his degree in communications and now lives with his family in the San Joaquin Valley. Lewis is profoundly deaf and uses American Sign Language to communicate. He enjoys hazelnut coffee, captioned movies, and walking his dog.

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