An Open Letter to the Strangers at the Gym-
I will go to any length not to talk to you. It’s not that I think I’m better than you; I just don’t want to foster a friendship with you. I have nothing to add to the relationship. I promise. I don’t want to know how much you bench or your recipes for huge protein boosts. In fact, sometimes my mp3 player runs out of batteries and I leave my headphones in my ear to pretend that I’m still listening to music. I’ll mouth some words or maybe even tap my fingers to imaginary songs to give the illusion that I’m listening to something and act so in to it that you bothering me might get me out of this magical groove – a mental Shangri-La where lifting weights and music converge and exist as one. There are many aspects of life where I have zero patience, but this is not one of them. If the batteries run out, I’ll leave the ear buds in and tap and mouth to nothing for an hour and a half if need be. I’m that hardcore about not chatting.
I will also do whatever it takes not to make eye contact with you. I’m an extremely secure guy, so don’t confuse my looking at the floor for shyness. I’m doing it not to talk to you. I can feel you looking at me in the mirror. You’re waiting. The moment our eyes meet, you’ll pounce. “How much weight ya got there?” Alas, this shall not happen. My eyes will stay ever transfixed on the floor – focused as if there is something going on down there. Unfortunately, there is nothing – unless you can imagine my desire to not talk to you as a tangible thing; in that case, there is something infinitely big: a Behemoth made of anti-social willpower.
Once, I was so intent on keeping my eyes down that when I swung around to get a plate to put on the barbell I clocked my forehead on the next barbell over. I had a circular bruise on my forehead for two days. That circular bruise was a symbol of my need to not chit-chat.
Don’t take this the wrong way. I’m a nice guy and maybe if we were somewhere else, I would chat. Probably not though. I’d probably walk the long way to avoid you.
Guy with a Turned Off Shuffle, Staring at the Ground, Rambling Non-Sense to Himself