Mr. P. — the hobbling, sagacious Master Yoda of my gym — waved me down as I carried my bag of toys into the serious end. Mr. P hangs out there, holding court from a little used stack press, mostly because a car accident several years back fractured his pelvis in three places and left him with muscle spasms that for some bizarre goddam reason he refuses to let me mess with. He may be painfully modest in an old fashioned way.
When he did a double-bicep lat spread it was like watching two guys simultaneously swing open the doors of a Ford F-450 pickup and stand up on the door frames. The twentysomething douchebags in there see an old man who walks with an agonizing limp, if they notice him at all.
“I got a message for you,” he said.
“Am I busted for actually lifting something?”
“No, no, this is nice. You remember the guy who blew out his back a few weeks ago? He was back in. He wanted to tell me he was OK, it was just a huge muscle spasm — ”
“Good, I thought so — ”
“And he asked me if I’d thank the young lady who was so supportive while we were waiting for the ambulance, if I saw you.”
If Island Guy was forty that was all he was, and I’m fifty-nine in November. I must be doing something right. Maybe he was just being gallant, so I’m trying not to be smug. But some days you need that.
I still wish Mr. P would let me have a whack at him, though.