Monday, November 1, 2010

Stories to tell: the exercise room

I wonder about the dark-skinned, middle-aged, middle-Asian man who seems to be stalking me in the exercise room at my apartment.  I don't exercise at the same time every day (I'm in there anywhere from 6:30 AM to 8 PM, depending on my crazy schedule, and it seems like soon after I enter, he shows up.  I never watch the TV because I am reading and using the stair climber.  He heads straight to the TV, where he religiously tunes in to one of two channels: The Women's Network or Black Music America.

I am careful not to make eye contact with people I don't know in particular and men in general, so I don't know if he is as embarrassed as I am to exercise to commercials and infomercials for maxi pads, Vagisil, women's health issues, and miracle bras in the company of a member of the opposite gender who should really have very little interest in these things.  Does he enjoy the talk shows and soap operas?  I can only assume he is totally comfortable with this stuff that is hideously embarrassing to me (even if it were with a male friend), or why would he do this all the time?  We have never talked.  I don't know if he speaks English, so it's only inside my head that I ask him, "Have you no shame?!" when some particularly excruciatingly embarrassing topic is displayed.

Variety is the spice of life, so sometimes at random and always on Sunday mornings, he zooms in to Black Music America, a channel that shows random pictures and plays music from artists you would expect from the name of the channel (with more of an emphasis on gospel music on Sundays).

Why these two channels?  Why me?  God only knows . . . 

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