Another World, Indeed

I live a sedentary life. I work from a seven by seven foot ‘den’ in my apartment, seated in front of my computer. In the morning, I rise from the bed, get dressed, walk about nine feet, and start work. I pause for lunch. Sometimes, about three times a week on average, I leave the apartment to meet with clients or have lunch with friends. My evenings and weekends are more exciting, but my week days tend to be uneventful.

When my simple life takes a surreal turn, it’s disturbing.

This afternoon, I went down to my apartment building's gym to work out. There is no one else in there, and so I'm pleased to be working out by myself. I've been on the elliptical trainer for about twenty minutes when, over the music of my iPod, I hear some commotion behind me. A young man with pointy, jet-black hair and a plain green t-shirt with the sleeves cut off has come in. I hear him leave, and return a couple of minutes later.

When he comes back, he has brought a luggage cart laden with objects stacked about shoulder height, all covered in a shabby grey towel. The elliptical trainer faces outward, and he's directly behind me. It's difficult for me to see what he's doing. There's a great deal of noise, but I don't want to appear snoopy, so I finish my workout on the trainer. When I turn around and climb off, I'm shocked.

My fellow exerciser has set up one of the weightlifting benches in front of the stationary bike. He's placed the luggage cart on top of the bench. The luggage cart has a television, VCR and a box bungied to it. A television and VCR. He's brought his own entertainment centre!

The box, I soon learn, contains a standing fan. He nods to me, as if this were standard gym equipment, extends the fan to about four feet, and plugs it in. Then he asks me if he can turn off the lights. Unsure of what else to say, I consent, and the room gets very dark. I look around, trying to decide whether I'm in a porn or horror movie. In the semi-darkness, I struggle to finish my workout quickly.

While hanging up a floor mat, I manage to glance at what he's watching. He's taped a soap opera. I wouldn't know which one, but the hair lights and heavy make-up are unmistakable. I hurry out of the gym before he asks me whether I think Victor really killed Catarina.

When I got upstairs to my apartment, I tuned the television to the channel that shows the feeds from the 20-odd security cameras around the building. Most of the screen shows the front entrance, and the rest rotate in a small picture-in-picture. To validate the strangeness, I took a photo of the gym feed.



clanrat said:

The really scary part is that this person lives in the same building as you.

January 22, 2004 10:16 AM

d said:

rofl, cam.

January 22, 2004 10:24 AM

Darren said:

Who's Cam? This clanrat dude?

January 22, 2004 10:40 AM

Jeff said:

Darren, I think this story has legs and I know you will persevere until you get (us) to the (dark, perspiring) bottom of this. Please take a camera with you. I would really like to see this guy during his commute... if he's allowed out.

January 22, 2004 10:59 AM

Meghan said:

Hee Hee. Now that is a funny thought, Jeff. It would make a great, disturbingly funny, short film. I'd offer to direct, but I figure that would be steping on your toes, Darren.

January 22, 2004 11:23 AM

Red Wolf said:

The joys of apartment living, sometimes you get to share living space with the certifiable. Still, at least it livened your day up.

January 22, 2004 02:13 PM

This is darrenbarefoot.com, weblog of Darren Barefoot.
You are viewing entry number 372, last updated on January 21, 2004.

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