1997. UCLA. Wooden Center. The work-out facility favored by the best and brightest--also the tautest, best muscled and godlike--that the city of Angels has to offer. Also favored by me, pasty, white, bit doughy around the middle. Until recently, I've been convinced for years that I am still an athlete, despite having played my last college soccer game in something like 1983. Completely disabused of that notion at this moment, during which I'm struggling with one of those new-fangled Ab Rollers and trying not to kick spasmodically or have an incident involving bodily fluids. 15 assisted sit-ups into a 16 sit-up routine.
From where I am lying I can see my reflection in the floor to ceiling window. Maybe it's not so bad. Sure, I'm not young, really, but at least from this angle you can't tell that everything goes wubbida wubbida when in motion. In the reflection I see one of Them. The young, the fit, the spandex attired. He surveys the entire floor and then lies down just beside me.
Obviously a man of discernment. Equally obviously I am not interested, being a happily married doughy woman whose mid-section generates its own theme song. How does one let a gentleman caller down easily? I cannot remember, it's been so long.
When I open my eyes from that happy little daydream, I snort and twitch in shock, which I think we can all agree is an attractive response to nearly every situation.
Spandex boy is still lying there, but on his forehead is a woman's hand, which is attached to a whole body that is up in the air like a spear. Seriously, I missed a one-handed forehead stand performed by Cirque du Soleil extras as it was taking place 18 inches from me.
"I met some dude named Omar out there," Soleil boy comments, as girl switches hands. "He wants to know if we want to run through some cross-zantian metamorphic contusions with him when we're done warming up."
"Omar!? No way! I KNOW OMAR FROM CLOWN SCHOOL!"
Clown school. I feel like I've been its star pupil for the last 47 years.