On my love for the gym and man kisses

Newsflash: I’ve rekindled an old flame with a love I thought was gone forever. And it’s great.

Me and the gym? We’ve pretty much played tonsil hockey and made up. This is largely thanks to my having switched gyms from the crazy, sweaty, packed-with-sexy-but-infuriatingly-posturing-and-flirtatious-homosexuals-Energym to Urban Fitness, which could swallow Energym 6 times over and have room for another–and another protein smoothie thanksverymuch. There are also other women–sweating, grunting, focused women who enjoy working out because they enjoy working out–which I missed.

Somehow along the way I’d forgotten how surpassingly amazing it feels to have a good workout. I’m not just talking about any kind of workout–I’m talking about the kind that leaves you shaky, sweat-slicked, and totally, blissfully, shudderingly empty at the end. I know that description must sound borderline psychotic, but quite the contrary: I actually feel calm. Emptiness workouts are the only thing that makes me feel really calm lately, but little matter. For that largely subterranean afternoony period of the day I spend in Urban Fitness, I am free. And am resultingly capable of pumping out 40 knee-push-ups in a minute now when I used to be able to do only 12 before dropping. Sadly, I’m still only good for 5 or 6 real push-ups (flexiones, en español) before I flop on the floor like an exhausted, broke-back manatee, but hey–it’s something to work on!

I equally love and hate that Urban Fitness is a 15 minute walk from my pad in Chueca. On the upside, the jaunt shaves time off of my actual in-gym cardio time. On the downside, I nearly died in traffic today due to dodging slow Spaniards, and I am forever desperately trying to avoid lines of linked-arm walkers and snogging couples. I like people who walk like they have somewhere to go, even if they don’t so this meandering business that tends to clog main arteries is something for which I have zero patience. My angry stalking gets me around quickly, but not without sustaining a half dozen near-collissions with countless Fuencarral rubberneckers and couples making out in the middle of sidewalks.

And on that note:

On my way home today I witnessed what may be my first real man-on-man kiss. I’m sure I’ve seen plenty, idly passing by, but as I watched the dismount of this one, the thought that fired off in my head was “Wow. That was a singularly male kiss,” which is definitely the first time I’ve ever thought that thought. Here’s how it went down: I was walking slightly behind two very tall, scarved and parkaed men on my way home. They seemed to be pretty deep in conversation. Then, they both stopped. The one on the left grabbed the back of the head of the one on the right, pressed his lips furiously against the mouth of the one on the right, kept them there long enough to make them both stop in the street, and then the man on the left abruptly let go of the back of the man on the right’s head, so abruptly, in fact, that his head jostled back a bit. They exchanged goodbyes, and walked in separate directions, shoulders hunched, hands in pockets, chins borrowed into scarves. The ferocity of the kiss shocked me enough to make me notice, and the brevity left me confused and even as a spectator yearning for a little more… something. It was interesting, and strange, and struck me as very…just… male. I wonder why they didn’t kiss longer–in Chueca it seem to be okay–and I wonder about the current of violence rushing beneath that gesture’s surface. I stumbled upon something I probably shouldn’t have seen and was probably too captivated for my own good. I dunno. Interesting.

It’ll be Christmas–and the end of December–and New Year–soon. I don’t know how I feel about that, but I do know I have a cookies to make and a haircut to get.

So do I chop off all the hair, or do I just trim it? I honestly can’t decide myself. It’s going down Friday. Cast your vote now or forever hold your peace.


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