aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

The perils of being a writer

Our gym has waxed and waned. It nearly went bankrupt a couple of years ago. Many people dropped out. Recently, a generous donor has allowed it to expand. Rather than a couple of tired treadmills and some even older exercise bikes, it now has rows and rows of various machines, many with little TV screens mounted in them. Plus there are huge TVs mounted on the walls.

We've been members for years. There's a guy I used to see in there a lot, but haven't seen in two or three years. I guess one time we must have exchanged names and I must have told him I'm a writer. We were both lifting weights last night.

Him: "Hi! I haven't seen you for a while."
Me: "Yeah, it must have been a couple of years."
Him: "Every time I'm here, I think about what you wrote about this place."
Me: "What's that?"
Him: "That getting out of here is the traffic merge version of a-" he leaned forward and whispered - "mercy f*ck."
Me, trying to backpedal away from the f-word: "Oh, I actually wrote that about someplace else."
Him: "Where?"
Me, babbling: "The Castle Super Sex Store. It's impossible to get out of their lot. Only I was actually talking about them when they used to be the Boston Market."

I sounded like some weird pervert. I should report that I only wrote that word in an essay for Portland's alternative weekly because I was trying to sound hip. And I had once set a scene at the Boston Market, which was taken over by Castle Super Sex Store. And I predicted it would fail for the same reason the Boston Market did: It's impossible to get out of the parking lot unless someone is willing to hold up traffic for you. (Full disclosures: So far, I've been wrong. )

Thank God I don't write about character's sex lives too much. Or all those readers would think I really meant me. It's bad enough that every time this guy looks at me he's going to think "mercy f*ck" and "Castle Super Sex Store."

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