I go to the gym in the morning and run. I don’t know all the reasons. I don’t know if I know any of the reasons. One day I got up and just started doing that. I met people there. I don’t know their names, but I met them just the same. We say hello. They try to give me advice. I ignore the advice, but enjoy the interaction.
One guy I met always lifted weights. He said that he was a roofer and a plumber and a carpenter, too. He lifted free weights, dumbbells mostly. Standing military press. 80 pounds in each hand, over and over again, huffing, puffing. Between sets, he paced back and forth. Everyday I would see him in the gym. He was there when I arrived at 4:30 and there when I left at 6:30. Lifting, lifting, lifting weights.
My friend told me that I shouldn’t just eat plants. He said it was a bullshit diet. He said my body needed mass. He said I needed protein. He said I needed at least 3,000 calories, not 1,400. Yesterday, he said that my body would eat my muscle if I didn’t feed it. He said I was going to make myself sick. He said I had an eating disorder. He said that I was like a driver ignoring a “bridge is out” sign because there was a pretty girl down the road. He said losing weight was the pretty girl down the road. He was a nice guy, always bossing, always joking, always talking, lifting, lifting, lifting weights.
This morning I went to the gym and my friend was there. We were all there. All the usual people in our usual stations. I was running, he was lifting. I finished my running, I went to stretch, I heard a scream. People gathered around, I gathered with them. My friend, who’s name I don’t know was laying on the floor, still. His left arm moved once and stopped. People said he was breathing. People said they could feel his pulse. The ambulance didn’t come. People checked him again, we thought he was breathing, we thought he had a pulse. His arm moved one more time.
The ambulance finally came. The paramedic walked in slow, too slow. He forgot his bag. He walked back out slow and back in slow, with his bag. The paramedic checked for a pulse. There was no pulse. He tried CPR. The machine flat-lined. I think my friend died on the floor this morning. He was so still. His face was so still. His arm moved twice. We thought he was breathing. We thought he had a pulse.