So yesterday, I canceled my gym membership. I could list a bunch of somewhat legitimate reasons why, and rationalize the decision from a financial standpoint, but you would find that if you squinted your eyes, and looked at the text out of focus, my explanation would just reveal a hidden picture of a vagina. Don't worry ladies, I'm not referring to the fibromuscular tubular tract leading from the uterus to the exterior of your body. I'm talking about the ones that do things like wait for the walk signal to cross the street, or throw gardening parties.
My definitive action was the result of a two month, exercise free hedonism binge, during which I essentially payed the New York Sports Club $65 a month so I could eat pasta with butter three nights a week and drink six packs of Bud Heavys like they were Evian.
Upon entering the gym, I approached the front desk like a puppy who had just soiled the freshly installed carpet of its master's bedroom. The trainer who was working the entrance, a woman of maybe 45 whose build made mine look like that of Stephen Hawking, reached out to scan my membership card, which I had instinctively offered to her and then upon remembering why I came, had to pull away and put in my pocket like an infant trying to get into a nightclub with a fake ID. "I'm sorry," I said. "I actually need to speak with someone about canceling my membership." It would be difficult to describe the facial expression she made upon hearing this timid declaration, but it seemed to convey a harmonious blend of pity and disgust. "Just have a seat for a minute," she said.
For the next five to seven minutes I sat on a bench and watched people work out. Waves of patheticism and shame surged through my bloodstream and caused my vision to blur. "This is wrong," I thought. "What the hell am I doing?" And just as I was about to make a run for it, the voice of a rhinoceros bellowed at me from behind. "Eric?" Jesus Christ. I turned to see what can best be described as a well toned elephant with slicked back hair and a clipboard. "Yes," I squeaked. "I'm Eric."
"O.K., come on back to my office."
At this point I was so overwhelmed with guilt and self-loathing that my brain switched to auto-pilot. I was no longer in control of what came out of my mouth, and began responding to questions I didn't have any answers to.
"Why are you canceling your membership?"
"I'm moving. To Italy."
"How did you feel about your time at New York Sports Club?"
"I like going to the gym."
The next thing I know I am signing a piece of paper which, to paraphrase, said something along the lines of: I hereby confirm that I cannot handle the responsibilities of being a real man, and am consciously making the decision to hand in not only my membership card, but any semblance of respect once regarded towards me by this establishment."
Writing my signature made me come back to reality a little bit.
"Have a good time overseas," he said.
"What? Oh, right, thanks."
And with that I dragged myself out of this house of physical improvement, and with my tail between my legs, went home to have a snack.