Working on my body

︎︎︎︎︎ Conor Truax

︎ Aug 10, 2023

I was at the gym the other day
Trying to stay sane
Through my fall
Thinking about this,
Or that.
Below me some guy
I was spotting
Was going for his personal record
On bench press
He kept yelling
to nobody in particular.
He was banging his chest
and everyone was staring,
Looking at me like,
“Please take care of your child.”
“I don’t even know the guy,”
I tried to mouth back,
But when I later became friends with
A personal trainer,
He said they all thought I said,
“I don’t own the guy!”
I don’t know why he asked me to spot,
I was just waiting for the seated rows
(the line was exceptional,
Probably 4-5 people ahead of me
All using multiple machines
All not down to work in
With one another)
I definitely couldn’t bench
Three plates, man
Or two, for that matter
I tried saying to him.
One and a half, though
At least one and a quarter.
Soon as he lifts the bar
And the plates drop
Guy lets loose the loudest fart
I’ve ever heard
in my entire life.
Came through my noise canceling
Headphones in damn 4D!
Swear that guy just shit himself,
Someone said to me.
Muscle man had lifted the bar back into its place
But the fart was out in the world.
He was jumping around
And I thought I saw a brown stain,
On his Nike Dri-Fit shorts.
“I see a brown stain!”
Someone says, and
Yep. It’s there.
Couldn’t be anything else
Yet he doesn’t care,
He lifted his plates
Put the gym into a frenzy
“That’s the worst dooky
I ever smelled” said
an attractive personal trainer,
“Jesus Christ, not again,” said another.
I don’t know why, but
Every time someone said something
About how gross the smell was
I instinctively took a
deeeeeeeeeeep breath
To really get a whiff.
What in the hell
was I trying to investigate anyway?
The gym was clearing out like a
Bomb had gone off
And for all intents and purposes,
One had.
The place was empty now,
The air green and brown
Like a cartoon.
Great, I thought,
Taking another deep whiff
Of the egg-salad smelling air.
The seated row machine
Is finally free.

Conor Truax is a writer in New York.

Also by Conor: The Perfect Storm, New York Love