The Return of the Bench

I don’t know if I’m disturbed about this, or disturbed that I am not more disturbed.

I spent the early part of the week beset by two anxieties: that my bank wouldn’t cough up a document critical to a nearly $200K financial instrument, and that the glute-ham bench, a piece of equipment for which there are no substitutes, had been permanently snookered from my gym. I invert myself on this thing daily, usually clutching a 45-pound plate, before throwing every muscle on the back of my body into a dispute with gravity, and the sensation — compounded of spinal therapy and sheer will — is like no other.

Of the two, the financial clusterfuck was easier to face with equanimity.

Fortunately banks delivered and, Wednesday, the bench reappeared — painted, thank Goddess, not the Easter-egg purple and yellow combination beloved of my gym, but a sober black and white. Not that I cared. They could paint it pink as long as they brought it back.

I flung myself on it, kissed it, wedged myself between the pads and seized a sewer-lid plate. A cartaliginous, succulent  sound of decompression issued from my mid-thorax; I paused a moment to savor it before going into full extension with the plate hugged to my chest.

The rest of my life is made bearable by these moments I spend engaged with the romances of pressure and traction, much as I imagine an electron thrives in the moments of  tension between its nucleus and the nearest other electron shell in the vicinity. Dante said that Love moved the sun and the other stars, and probably would have invoked the same cause for the movement of subatomic particles had he known about them.

I love my bench.