Sunday, October 12, 2008

"Man plans and God laughs"

I've always liked that quote. My mother said it all the time. John Lennon wrote it another way in one of his songs: "Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans."

So, what all that means to me is there is no sense in planning to do anything right now. No trips, no year in Rome, nothing really beyond today and maybe tomorrow until I know how this financial train wreck is going to turn out. Luckily, I still have a job. Right now any and all thoughts about leaving it are on hold.

Here's a poem about one of my favorite diversions - working out. I definitely need to keep it up now.

Across the Parking Lot, Into the Gym

5:30 A.M.
in the dark, the cold rain,
lines of cars jockey for the space
closest to the door.
The huge gray flatbed
always in the compact section
just to piss me off

blinding light reveals every pore,
frown, furrow,
sleepy eye, yawn, bed head
every drop of sweat,
every added inch
gained chomping on chips,
shoveling in the cookies
pizza pies, McAnythings.

The same folks line up
like race horses
in rows of stairsteppers
rows of treadmills
rows of elliptical trainers
rows of bikes
rows of rowers
ab crunchers, thigh shavers,
hip slimmers, arm deflabbers, chest expanders
dumbbells, barbells, bars with no bells
and no whistles.

They’re on slantboards, flat boards, balance boards,
wood floors, carpeted floors, balls, bozus
You ask what’s a bozu – it’s a half ball.
You have to be there.
They wear
baggy tees, baggy sweats,
long shorts, short shorts, tight shorts,
skin tights, tight tights,
bra tops, tank tops, see-through tops, no tops –
whoops, did I say that?
Really, they all wear tops.
Guzzling, suckling like babies
their sports drinks
from those ubiquitous plastic nipples.

They’re plugged in
to iPods, CDs, cassettes, radios, TVs.
Anything to drown out the drone
the cacophony of weights bouncing off the floor,
feet clip clopping on the treadmill,
Anything to miss
the macho guys yelling across the room,
ridiculing, riling up their buddies,
exposing their pecks
and their sex lives.
Anything to erase
the voice of the brunette with glasses
still gloating over W’s win –
The I told ya sos
And so what?
Others running, climbing, cycling, walking,
flexing, flaunting, strutting their siliconed stuff
The old geezers checking out the babes.
The comes ons, turn ons, hard ons and on and on.

They’re all there when I’m there
every morning
Day in, day out.
5:30 A.M.

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