9.30.2015

Annoying Gym Girl #2 (Short Fiction)

Annoying Gym Girl (AGG) was already in the workout room in my building when I arrived for my 20 minutes of quasi-brisk walking on the treadmill and some mild weight lifting.

Clad in black Spandex shorts and a tank top sports bra, her blonde hair pulled back in a tight pony tail, she was jack hammering the poor pedals of the stepper machine and making tiny breathy grunting noises every two or three reps, punctuated here and there with longer utterances, as if her exertions were granting her epiphanies on the secrets of the universe.

Hut hmm hah. Ha hmm hnnt. Aaaaaaaaaah! Hmm hut hah.

I pressed the Quick Start button on the treadmill and the rubber track began to move beneath my feet. I adjusted the speed and inclination to a comfortably moderate level and tried to block out AGG’s gutteral noises by reading a book on my phone's Nook app.

AGG finished her stepper workout at the same time that my treadmill reached the end of its cool down cycle and slowed back to dormancy. I lingered on the still track of the treadmill reading my Nook book, waiting to see what AGG did next. I didn’t want to interfere with her clearly intense and regimented workout. She wandered over to the rubber mats and started doing crunches. Thank goodness, because I wanted to do bench presses on the Nautilus machine.

I started doing my reps, 10 each at ever decreasing loads of weights. I intended to do about 50 total presses and when I was about half done, AGG drifted into my peripheral vision. I glanced up at her. She had a white towel over her shoulder and smiled at me coldly as she lingered there, lightly bobbing from foot to foot like she had a nervous disorder or a full bladder. She didn’t move and I figured she was waiting for me to get off the machine so she could start grunting again.

I faced forward and finished out my reps. Then I sprung from the inclined seat of the machine and headed for the tub of sanitary wipes by the gym entrance that were used to clean the weights and equipment after use to prevent the spread of infection and cooties.

“Aren’t you going to clean that?” AGG’s voice rang out behind me. I turned and she pointed a finger at the weight machine with a small repetitive shake of her head. She was holding the towel in her hand now.

“I was just going to grab some wipes,” I replied.

“There are wipes right here,” she said snidely, pointing to another tub of wipes along the wall behind the machine. I had not seen them because they had been out of my line of sight.

“There are indeed,” I said. “But there are also some over here and those are the ones I am going to get.” I continued toward the tub by the door.

“Never mind. I’ll do it myself,” AGG said in an aggravated tone. She passive-aggressively stomped over to the other tub of wipes and yanked several out.

“OK,” I said and left.

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