So I went back to the gym today. It’s the same as it always been over the years, really: the fat and the fit, the show-offs and the red-faced miserables, all sweating to a tv screen on the wall showing “Days of Our Lives.” I smiled widely at the soap opera as I ran my miles. I hadn’t seen it in ages, and there’s friggin' John Black on there still after like a million years. I think his real name is Drake or Dirk or Drunk or something like that. He looked the same – handsome, fake-tanned, with a deepening of his brow furrow lines. I thought for a minute, well, why hasn’t he had those Botoxed out like the rest of his face? And then I realized, ah no, that is his character, all intense and serious. He keeps his two vertical lines. I really liked the juxtaposition of the Sex Pistols on my headphones and John and Marlena on the tv screen still making melodramatic faces at each other. It felt good.

The guy running next to me looked like Arlo Guthrie, with long gray wavy hair. Arlo walked for a couple minutes then ramped it up. I could not figure why he wanted to use the machine next to me when there were a bunch open with no one by them. Maybe it was his favorite. Maybe he does not understand gym machine etiquette. I really do not want anyone close to me as sweat runs into my eyes and I have to periodically swig great glugs of water and breathe through my mouth. Although there is something in me that would love to cause a great obnoxious scene by singing along loudly and tunelessly to “Can I Get A Witness” as I run, while letting a good ripping fart. I wish for such bravery, but I will never do it. Maybe.

With that in mind, this gym has a workout room, a huge one, where all the lights are dimmed, a cardio cave. You can sweat and have your ass jiggle hopelessly in darkened anonymity, with just the sounds of the fans overhead and the whirring machines. I think I will go in there next time and pretend I am running in outer space all by myself. With my luck Arlo will get on the machine next to me. He’ll be in for it if he does. Maybe I will start talking back to the characters on the soap opera. “HEY BITCH, WHY DON’T YOU LEAVE JENNIFER ALONE AND GET YOUR OWN MAN?” Oh, god. Now I might have to do it.

I’m gonna get famous at the gym.