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I’ve been out of sorts lately, mean and ornery, and I think I know why: I’ve been cheating on my old gym. I didn’t want to tell anybody because the firemen there are like friends to us now…why would I turn my back on them?...and my new gym has such a bad reputation for being shallow and fake. The only reason firemen ever go there is to resuscitate young women whose lungs have given out under the weight of their false breasts.
So now I admit that for the past couple months, I’ve been working out at a big famous gym, located directly across the street from my house. It was easy, like an affair with a neighbor. I could come home from work, duck in for a quickie, and actually be home earlier than usual. I could sneak over there on the weekends and be home before anybody noticed I was gone.
The new gym had glitzy locker rooms, big-screen TVs, and tons of machines on which you could exercise in any position you could ever imagine. The problem was that so many people were attracted to this place, it would get really warm in there. It would get hot. The women would glisten and pant; the men would get all pumped up and sometimes they’d shout. I would get distracted and then not concentrate on what should have been important to me: my family, my abs, my work, and the healthy, predictable patterns of my daily life. No matter how boring all that might be sometimes, it’s still my core strength, and I had been wooed away.
Yesterday I broke up with the fancy new place and drove my car back down to the old predictable place to renew my membership. The TV’s are smaller there, the machines aren’t new, and the lockers are metal, not wood. The teenage girl at the front desk chirped, “You didn’t miss much!” and the massage guy came running to pick me up and hug me, my feet dangling two feet off the ground. “There’s just something about you,” he said. “Something good.”
There’s no place like home.