Monday, November 4, 2013

Adventures in the World of Self

I have, in recent weeks, made it a point usually in the middle of the morning, to change into what I used to call sneakers but now I think of as my sexy red kicks (I picked that up on urban dictionary in a forlorn and ultimately failed effort to understand a note someone my children's age had written to me) and head over to what, when I had sneakers, was a gym but now that I have kicks is a fitness center.

We use language now to mask meaning rather than to enhance it. A decade ago instead of referring to staff members' spouses who were with child as 'pregnant' or 'expecting' (the worst? a miracle?) we used 'generating dependents.' From the language of Shakespeare and Wordsworth comes such a gem. Our parents should be so proud. I am no longer afraid of dying but being living impaired scares the bejabbers out of me.

I mention fitness centers in my kicks and the sounds of one hand clapping, the gap between Ben Cohn and a zen koan gets more narrow by the moment and the precise unit of measurement to plot this gap is called Leonard. But I digress.

I was walking on the indoor track which is suspended overhead above the rest of the facility which includes what appears to be acres of basketball courts and volleyball whatever-they're-called, weight machines and free weights (like I know the difference; one or the other stroked me out in February and I did an overnight in the hospital (for which we have no trendy alternate name, how about 'Wellness Warehouse' or 'Salubrity Central'?)) and those heave and ho kettle balls and what looks like a small mountain you climb up and climb down, leaving me to wonder why climb at all.

I walk and do so at a very brisk pace because I get so angry at work in recent weeks that I fear I will set fire to all the wooden objects in my office and then use passers-by in the hallway to put the blaze out. I am especially afraid that other people have been compiling lists of folks I should use and will offer me a copy of it while passing along kindling. Some of those doing the compilation are already on my list so I think surprise may be about to make its debut on the periodic table of elements.

I listen to very new, to me, alternative metal and other abrasive near-musics (some of it sounds like a cat dropped into a blender; I now know how my father felt about The Rolling Stones) while so doing because there's little risk I'll sing along to songs I've never before heard (though not NO risk).

I looked down the other day at the handful of other people using the various equipment and realized we were all wearing headphones (or ear buds, another newspeak term that makes me smile). I was on my Planet Me which all the other not-quite Celestial Terrestrials on their respective planets could not acknowledge nor need to, wie du mir so Ich dir, and conceded we were alone together, like two year olds in parallel play, gaining nothing from the social interaction because there was none.

Judging from the aroma, one of them might have been wearing lighter fluid as an aftershave unless my nose deceives me, but a wish is a hope you make with your heart. Would definitely have to lose the tin foil hat. Then we'd see the sparks fly.

-bill kenny

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