Tuesday, August 19, 2008


I've never considered myself a gym kind of guy. Not because I dislike gyms, really. Actually, they're great: they have clusters of intriguing iron slab wire-and-pulley machines like interactive robot insect sculptures. They have oddly out-of-context digital technology still vaguely reminiscent of bicycles and canoes. Ramped beltways approximate walking and running reasonably close to the television and AC knob. What's not to like? I even like the careful rows of dumbbells, resting like autopsied Russian dolls along their iron racks. So, yeah, I can wax about the gym. The problem isn't the gym itself, then, but the hours. I frequently want to use a gym after midnight, when gyms are frequently closed. No, that's not it, either. There are plenty of twenty-four hour gyms. I want to use a gym while it's closed, to play on the machines like monkey bars, incorrectly, without supervision or self-consciousness. So a paradox: I want a gym that's open at night, but, you know, also closed. The coolest thing happened to me Friday. Thursday I'd spoken with the building manager about maybe keeping our little gym open all night. Previously, it had closed at nine. Friday night its closed sign disappeared. The lights were all still off--there was no announcement or anything like that--but the doors were unlocked and the computers powering the treadmills were on. I used to run every night in DC. In HCMC it is a little more difficult: not only is it usually raining, but the sidewalks are potholed and cluttered with roots and people selling magazines off a blanket or bowls of soup warming over pots of fire. Obstacles. What I did instead, before Friday, was go up and down my building's twenty-story stairwell. Let me tell you the closed-but-open gym is way more fun. [Cavin]

Then, a 0 sided conversation ensued...

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