Wednesday, July 20, 2005

It's one of those probability things, like, "if you drop a piece of buttered toast, there's a 95% chance that it will land butter side down." When you go to the gym, no matter how many people are there, no matter how many lockers there are, there is a 95% chance you will end up right next to someone who is changing at the same time.

That happened to me today, and the neighbor in question was a very large person. Not fat. Well, actually, yes, fat. But not just fat, massive. He was strolling back from his shower as I was changing. I picked up the pace a little.

He moved in front of his locker (and mine), and continued to dry himself. And dry himself. Clearly, this was a fairly involved project. And why wouldn't it be? There was a lot to dry, some of it remote, rugged terrain. He seemed to have trouble reaching his own private Baluchistan. His breathing was a little bit labored and he was sweating. He paused to take a bump off his inhaler.

By this time I was going full throttle. I was getting claustrophobic, with this mass of pink flesh threatening to envelope me. I pulled on my shirt, forgetting to unbutton the collar. I nearly ripped off the button. I pulled on my shoes from a standing position, deciding that I was better off to risk losing my balance than to endure the certain discomfort of sitting with my head 6 inches from Baluchistan.

I jammed my stuff into my bag as though I were fleeing a fast-moving wildfire, or a volcanic eruption. (There's no time for your cell phone! Just leave it! Move! Move!) I got out of there, wondering just how many lockers, and how few gym members there would need to be to reduce the odds of close encounters.


At 5:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog to decide if I think it is funny. I got to this one, and I realized that you really are "hack" if you find it funny to make fun of fat people... is it really so horrible? I mean, what exactly is it about fat people that has you all up in arms?? OMG... that person is near me... people may think I KNOW them... then I would be fat by ASSOCIATION!! And people wonder why fat people don't just go to a gym to lose weight? Because we all know what people like YOU are thinking. I used to weigh over 400 lbs. I would go to the gym and people would openly laugh and point and snicker. That is such an "adult' way to act. I don't weigh that much anymore, but I am sure you would still not associate with me out of fear. I don't see what Kristy sees in you.

At 10:19 AM, Blogger Ish said...

I'm sorry that I offended you, and I completely understand. I hope you might allow for the possibility that this posting is evidence more of weak writing rather than a personal bias. I resorted to employing a lame negative stereotype, and I regret it.

I'm old enough to know I can't really say, "disregard, I didn't really mean that." Well, I must have written it for some reason. I won't try to give myself a free ride on that.

I regret writing this post, and I sincerely regret offending you, and anyone else who may have been offended by it.

I have known that kind of ridicule in my own life, so I know how hurtful it can be. To be responsible for causing you to feel that way pains me. I'm sorry.

If you knew me, I would hope you would be able to accept my apology and look beyond this to see that I am not a shallow, judgmental person. I think K can see that. It in any case, she's well positioned and well-equipped to make that call for herself.

At 3:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your apology. It actually DOES make a difference. I have grown accustomed to people not caring if they offend or hurt my feelings or those of anyone else. I don't think that most people have ANY idea what it is like to have to live with that kind of shame and embarrassment. There were times in my life when I would go for a week without eating anything to try to be "acceptable" to society. I ruined my health and my metabolism and things only got worse. Sometimes I think that people do not see a human being when they see someone that is overweight. All they see is laziness and sloth... and that is not always the truth, but no one wants to get past the first impression to see that there is something else there. I will never be skinny... I have a lot of medical problems that will never go away. I am a good person, and I wish that people could see that more often. I am sorry for my anger, your words just struck such a chord with me (as I sit here at work with tears welling up in my eyes). Also, keep in mind that I do not think Kristy is fat. I would be happy to look like her as I think she is beautiful. I just hope you make sure she knows that.


Post a Comment

<< Home