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2004-01-15 - 7:10 p.m.

four hours


well, almost four hours... that is how long I have before having to be at (not leave for, mind you) work tonight... this is about the average time I have each twenty four hours deducting sensible sleep (to remain in a healthy for the long term, however long the long term may be... I used to think 30 was old... but then, before that I thought teenagers were old... and when I started nursery school, the five year olds were really old... now, old is an abstract concept I don't believe in and we're all children of varying chronological ages, numbers upon which some of us place great value and judgement and some of us just accept as numbers of years of experience living that can mean absolutely nothing because life, experience, and age is as relative as everything else... though the gym might suggest otherwise) and necessary work (life in this culture has a bill and the bill must be paid... poverty is often not as much fun as wealth, and having known both, I prefer sharing either... and for now, prefer poverty because wealth attracts pretenders and vultures and I don't want them in my life today)... am I digressing already?... maybe...

anyway, we have four hours... we shall share the four hours in words so you can better know what I do in my supposedly (and definitely relatively) free time on a typical day...

four hours... it seems like such an unfairly short time... and yet, it is more time than I thought I would have so I will actually go to the gym... let's see just what I can do to work off some of yesterday's Swiss Roll binge with four hours... or almost... anyway, it's 7:10PM and we're (I mean, you're coming too, right?) going to the gym...

7:12PM... we're at the gym... it's a maybe a three minute slow walk, we jogged over... a couple of the regulars are there and we get sorta smiled at... gym smiles are iffy... it takes a while to get to know a person's gym face enough to know the difference between a grimace and a smile... the 9100 is free, glory be... but being the daring fools we are (and wanting some upper body work) we hit the weight machines first... briefly... we are going to the machines now...

7:15PM... we said briefly... being that we do not have half an hour extra to wait for the 9100 and someone might walk in at any moment to occupy the machine for even longer, we just did 20 on two weight machines and scooted over to the 9100... besides, did I mention that we woke up groggy and feeling old and farty?... really lethargic... must be the Swiss Rolls...

7:16PM... we are on the 9100... that is the rotating platform feet with kind of push pull arm polls LifeMaster (or is that LifeCycle) 9100 machine... in a moment of madness (and a flick of a tired finger), we start out at Level 17... now we just barely reached a goal set for March the last time at the gym two (or was that three) days ago which was Level 16 for 30 minutes and it was surprising and required extra recovering time (I mean, even taking a nap at work, which is very rare)... so accidentally pushing Level 17 was a stroke of madness... but just to prove we are very nearly completely psychotic mad and not just a little manic depressive mad, we had also pressed the machine to go for 40 minutes instead of the usual 30...

I believe there is some goal on my list of very tentative goals (see here later for more info about these supposed goals) to do Level 17 for 30 minutes sometime later this year and Level 16 for 40 minutes also sometime later this year and so on... so feeling as old and farty and lethargic as we feel, this was legitimate proof that I may require commitment very shortly... or intensive care...

we ignore logic and good sense and proceed without caution...

7:26PM... an iota of good sense flashed before our eyes (or was that our lives?) and we reach for the control panel and drop the Level to 16... what?... wherever did that iota of good sense go?... even an iota of mediocre sense would have realize that if Level 16 for 30 minutes was traumatic a few days ago, then Level 16 for 40 minutes after starting out at Level 17 for ten was sick, purely sick... we don't think about getting sick at the time, we just keep pumping our legs and arms and trying to remember to breath in and out in the correct order...

now a lot of things go through the mind when pushing the body to extremes of physical endurance... like when was the last time I changed the oil in the car... or was that my ears popping or my hamstring?... and is that girl over there looking at me thinking "wow, what a hunk?" or is she trying to remember the correct procedure for CPR... the last thought is one of the better thoughts about the potential for collapsing at the gym...

but mostly the mind goes blank, especially when the eyes close (which is one of the advantages a gym has over a track... closing your eyes while running outdoors can be a tad dangerous... but then, we scoff at danger, right?)... the rhythm of the rotor and the pulse keeping a steady drumbeat in your ears becomes a mantra and if you're lucky and really into it, you forget where you are and what you are doing and everything goes on automatic...

we should be so lucky...

7:36PM... twenty minutes and the numbers look very good... the numbers are the readout on the 9100... RPMs, calories burned, distance, and so on... we are ahead of record pace and loving it... except for when we regain consciousness and then we are cursing the fingers that pushed the buttons to set the machine to go at this ridiculous level for forty minutes... dang fingers... but we plod on anyway...

looking around, we notice the room has changed... no, we haven't started hallucinating just yet, but the people who were here have disappeared... granted, they probably just finished their workouts and walked out quietly, not anting to disturb the 9100 zen master who appears to be sleep cycling/rowing on his feet, but somehow it's more fun to imagine that they (or we) have been transported somewhere far away and are having much more fun that we appear to be feeling at the moment... huff, puff, self-powered duff...

7:46PM... surely goodness and mercy will follow us wherever we go... oh wait, we're not dead yet... by some miracle of sheer will, we resisted the temptation to reduce the level... we are still pumping away at Level 16... yes, a new record in almost every category... RPMs had to slow or we'd most likely be quite dead by now... but still we are staying above 50 RPMs which is insanely wonderful considering the piss poor pitiful condition this body has slipped into after not doing this sort of serious working out for a couple of years and especially considering the way we woke less than an hour ago... you remember... old and farty and lethargic... paying attention, are we?...

looking up at the world outside of the bubble of dripping flesh we have become, we see a very appealing body over on the treadmill and dream of passionate sex for about seven seconds... heart palpatations and a will to live bring us back to reality and we consider whether we've bitten off more than we can chew and we look up at that appealing young body again and say fuck it... we mean it in a most respectful way...

and we close our eyes and leave the buttons along and continue into the fourth ten minute segment of the forty minute workout... see, it's in x-aerobics mode or something like that which means it flashes these little notes on the little screen (with accompanying beeps for those of us who look elsewhere or close our eyes) to suggest changing focus (pushing with arms, pulling with arms, speed up to 60 RPMs, slow down, go at your own pace, reverse, etc.) and the cycle repeats every ten minutes... this may be a failsafe built into the machine to keep people from dying, or passing out... staying focused and alternating muscle focus is a good way to get a good overall workout, but it's also a test of consciousness... good machine... nice machine... killer machine...

7:52PM... four minutes to go and we're on our own... the machine has set us into go at your own face, I mean pace mode and we're trying to find the guts and energy and madness to come up with a good kick finish... we glance at the numbers, we're setting new records if we don't stop now... one foot... the other foot... one arm... the other arm... stop thinking about it, just pump, pump, pump (like the last throws of really great sex) and let it happen... remember the immortal words of zen master Gavin Friday, "if I die, I die" and continue... accelerate... pump...

7:54PM... the machine is saying cool down... it always gives a two minute cool down at a lower level at the end of a chosen time frame... we override the cool down and push the level back up to 16... we are kicking the RPMs up to 60... madness... goals must be reached... hieghts must be attained... orgasms are not origami...

7:55PM... the kick is killing us... yet somehow we reach out (maybe it was the ever so fine rear view of the cute girl on the treadmill... or maybe it was punishment for years of waste and neglect... or maybe it was just a slip of the finger) and we're suddenly pushing Level 17 again... did I mention that there is a vast different between resistence on this machine between levels?... pump, pump... we're hitting 65 RPMs... the room might be spinning, or maybe it's the music...

7:56PM... glory... or is that gorey?... we check our body parts... nothing has fallen off... no unplanned excretions... we step off the machine, take a few steps away and look wondering if it is the devil... and yetk, there is a sense of love, of passion, of intimacy that only the machine knows... pity, as the girl on the treadmill would have been much more stimulating for our libido...

we semi-stagger around the gym in some euphoric state of near bliss for a minute or two... we glance around hoping someone is masturbating at the site of our amazing physical exhibition, but no such luck... but we can dream...

not having done enough on the weight machines before the insanity on the 9100, we reset the weight and seat on the sitting bench press machine and collapse as gently as possible in some vain attempt to maintain some semblence of cool as the machine faces the ever more appealing body on the treadmill and is less than six feet away... she is walking, not at all pushing her body, no perspiration, no ripples in muscles, but just the right shape so we overlook the lack of workout... and we use her body to motivate the arms to push the bars and do a couple of reps on the weight machines...

and then we leave...

what?... you expected maybe a romantic encounter?... nope... didn't happen... maybe next time... in all seriousness, that is not what I go to the gym for and besides, she was carefully avoiding eye contact whenever I opened my eyes... I don't approach anyone who does not make eye contact for while a body may appeal superficially to libido, there's minimal turn on beyond visual imagery from anyone who is not interested in seeing eye to eye... the workout was way more than I expected when I headed out to the gym a little while ago...

8:24PM... we jogged back here and now shall jump in the shower... a brief shower, ten minutes tops (yes, that is brief... though I have been known to give this body shorter showers when rushed more and in times of emergency, I can adequately bathe this body in about two minutes (can we do it in one minute, Alex?), but the hot steamy water flowing (rather limply which is the major complaint about living here in Florida... low water pressure... oh how I miss the pounding waters... when I built my house I had a pump to increase water pressure but that was last decade and much has changed since then and since returning here this decade I have had to accept typical Florida water pressure and it sometimes sucks, but I make it work with my imagination... and expensive shower heads) is essential to the body well-being... hot showers are meditative for this body...

hopefully you enjoyed it too... libido did not rise, in case you wondered... we masturbated upon first walking up before getting out of bed... I left that out, huh?... well, now you know... physical self-pleasuring and orgasm happens at least once a day in my typical free time (occasionally at other times, but that's another story for other days), often more often... I suppose that would add a bit to the almost four hours so we actually may have had more than four hours, but we'll not nit pick over time... the shower was good, just not long enough... nothing is long enough (I heard that remark, peanut gallery) when time constrants limit activities... but we continue as best we can...

9:51PM... time flies, huh?... so we've showered and shaved and did basic hygiene stuff and then came here and typed out this part of entry... it took the better part of an hour and a half... we prepared food... simple stuff... some meal in a bag veggies and chicken and pasta thing with an extra bag of veggies thrown in because the meal in a bag does not have enough veggies for me... it's just cut open the bag, pour into a pyrex bowl, add extra spice and a bit of water or butter (or fat-free margarine, tonight) and set the microwave for 15 minutes and forget it... those fifteen minutes is just about up and we'll be eating in a few minutes... good thing as we don't have much time left to get dress and head out the door to work...

and food is ready... we flip on the TV and spend a minute looking for something to watch while eating so we don't have to feel like we're eating alone and we find Robin Williams covering up naked breasts on a beach, yes, it is Club Paradise... good choice as something more interesting would make me want to be late for work and suddenly we're watching the building of the Effil Tower... yes, ADD strikes again... Welcome To Collinwood...

the food is ok for processed food... I wish I had more time to cook real food... and a clean kitchen big enough to actually spread out and do some real cooking... and time to clean up behind Sally (who rarely cleans and leaves dirty pans and anything anywhere when he cooks, which is rare, which is good cuz there's a mess afterward... at the moment there are three day old pizza boxes and assorted fast food containers here and there... I am happy that I don't give in and eat that stuff too often, since it's around daily) and myself daily...

10:27PM... see why we go to the gym?... life around the apartment is infinitely more boring... well, that and we are still trying to remember what it feels like to be in shape... hopefully we'll be back there eventually... shape is a good place to be... meanwhile, all this writing has us running a late for work... usually we are through eating by now and brushing our teeth and getting dressed... well, at least finished eating... there's still not enough veggies in the food... but if I put more veggies in I'll need an even bigger bowl... I suppose I could use just half a package of the meal in a bag, but then I might get an inordinate amount of one item and not enough of another... and there isn't much protein in this meal... next time, some adjustments... half a meal in a bag with two bags of veggies and extra protein... that means I have to buy extra protein... shrimp is easy... I asked Sally to bring home some shrimp this week but he may have forgotten... he works for a wholesale seafood distributor, so it's much cheaper to get seafood from him than from anywhere else...

10:34PM... so that's what we did with a typical four free hours that we get in a typical day... I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did... and I wish I had more time because I obviously had to rush through the last few paragraphs and leave out most of the thoughts that passed through my mind... if this sort of ramble is not to your liking, then you might check out the ever idealistic candora where we find some cynicism (or is that despair) meeting idealism recently and producing a plethora of rhymes, for whatever they are worth... I did not have time to do much (like edit... how many typos can you count up to?) in my other rambles and visits to the rest of my written gardens, but your attention and sharing is very appreciated (heck, in case you haven't noticed I've even gone in for cheap thrills recently... check the link at the left)...

gym, food, bathing, and writing... and a touch of masturbation... that's my free time in a capsule... of course I'd much rather be loving and sharing, but that takes more than one person and for all the plural pronouns used in this entry, the reality is that when I am not working I am alone a lot... too much...

you really must come over and spend an evening with me sometime...






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