I bought out the remaining months of a student's annual gym pass last week. Student has slipped a disc, her finances are straitened, my finances are adequate, and my fitness level of recent months is best described, in fitness person parlance, as "squidgy". Because this gym pass transaction has taken place behind the gym's back I have to remember that my name is Katrina.
"Have a good workout, Katrina," says Gym Man as he scans my pass and hands me my locker key.
"Ha ha ha!" I say. What sounds like the carefree laughter of a gympig born for benchpressing is in fact a precise arpeggio calibrated to accord with my new name. I try to laugh the way someone called Katrina would laugh, without technically affirming that Katrina I am.
(I've been interested in this form of dishonesty for years, the one where you're deceiving someone's socks off, but you don't say anything untrue. Dad and I had this agreement about ice-creams: "If your mother asks you, 'Did you have an ice-cream?', you should answer her truthfully, but if she doesn't ask, no need to mention the subject. And certainly don't tell her that you had two ice-creams. Unless, of course, she asks." That my mother was wise to all this complicates the levels of deception to a point beyond the scope of my analysis.)
Last night as I was leaving the gym, Gym Man asked me if I'd had a good workout. I don't know if I like the word "workout". Why "out"? Why not "up" or "in" or "beside"? But I didn't say that. I said - because I'm, like, totally down with Gym-Man-ese - "Okay, thanks. Mostly did cardio, and some weights." And he said, "Getting ready for tomorrow?" (Tomorrow, i.e., today, being Smelbourne Cup day.)
"Ha ha ha!" I said, but I'm still not sure what he was talking about. Was he suggesting that I am a horse, fitting in some last minute fetlock-stretches before the big race? Or that I'd need fully-functioning biceps in order to hold onto my fascinator in the wind?
Now I see as through a glass, darkly.
In other news, what about that US election, eh? Eh? 'Course, I don't have unalloyed faith in any of the candidates, but if that Obama wins, I'll dedicate a session on the treadmill to the good voters of Amerikay.