Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Workout Interrupted

I was wary but unafraid. He was smaller than me, much smaller, only about 5'6 or 5'7, but I could see, even through his clothes, that his skeleton was filled out muscles as taut as piano strings. His hands kept disappearing back into his pockets though I couldn't see him take or put anything in. Maybe it was just the cold. It was after all, only 34 degrees this morning. Maybe it was the cold but then maybe it wasn't. It would be best to be on my guard.

"I left Romania when I was 19, a revolutionary. You know that picture of that one guy in Tiannamen Square with all those tanks in front of him? It was like that, except I wasn't alone. There were 3,000 people behind me." Tiny said.

I was in the playground doing my usual workout because I couldn't afford my usual gym anymore. 50 pullups and 300 pushups before work was a better workout than most people with gym memberships ever did. I was only halfway through my pullups when he interrupted me. Small, like his name, his hairline receding, I've seen him here before working out just like me. I always assumed he did parkour from watching his workouts. It suited someone of his build.

"Then the general walked out and talked with some of his men. They opened up the barricades and let us through. We stormed the dictators house but he got away in his helicopter. No big deal though. I watched as we shot him and his wife dead a few days later." he continued.

I didn't know what to make of him. I've looked in the eyes of crack addicts before, unnerved by the way they could face me and give me the impression that they're seeing a different world. He came up to me, introduced himself as "Tiny Love" and asked me what I was doing. "Oh, just some shadow boxing." I said. Usually people leave me alone when they see me working out in the park, drilling the few combinations I remember. Jab, jab, right straight, Feint, right straight. The most interaction I've received was from the traceurs who worked out here as well, leaping through the jungle gyms, wowing the kids with precision jumps. We'd nod and smile at each other. Mutual respect.

I always assumed he was one of them.

"Then I came to America and got into the club scene. Rave. You know. Liquid. Check it out, yin-yang sign." He moved his hands into various shapes. I nodded. Yes, I could see the symbol.

"I saw all sorts of things back then. UFO's, demons, the High Council. It wasn't until I saw God that I turned my life around."

Oh. So it was going to be that kind of meeting.

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