I lay on my couch once home, the coffee doing little to pull me out of the arms of tiredness, its grip much tighter, possessive lover that it is.
I drank another cup of coffee, showered, put on shoes, clothes, and willed myself out to the door to the gym. The weather seemed to coincide perfectly with the clocks. The day we spring them forward an hour, make our days longer, our lives immediately more enjoyable, the sun out to a decent hour now, that star whose rays we are addicted to, junkies all out in the streets today out for a fix, squealing with the satisfaction of having scoring a big hit. The sun seemed to be shining particular brighter today, celebrating it with us as well. It was in the fifties and sunny and the beginning of this week with its cold, icy snow seemed so far away.
I read George Saunders' Tenth of December on the way to the gym, nearing the end of the book, reading his excellent "Home" story on the way there. And then, not finishing it on the train, so wowed by it, its hook too deep for me not to finish it, I stopped in the park to finish the story before heading into the gym.
I worked out for quite a bit in this more and more determined attempt to get ripped that I have. It started out as not necessarily a joke - I wanted to get fit when I first joined the gym, but when I would say "I want to get ripped," I didn't actually intend to expend significant energy in that pursuit. But along the way, I have become more and more in love with and addicted to (perhaps addiction too often being confused for love) working out, the feeling that I feel both during and afterwards. It is a high, the right things are released, and I am a much happier person. And so I felt much better today after working out. I walked down, glowing with joy to be walking around this city on this day, walked down to 14th Street. I stopped at the Trader Joe's wine store to stock up on cheap red wine.
Walking with these bags about to get on the L train, I stopped to read a text. Number not in my phone book. I texted him back. He texted me back. I texted him back. There were a couple more of these, back and forth, back and forth, me waiting on the sidewalk outside of the subway entrance to Brooklyn. I crossed 14th Street, took an 8th Avenue-bound one, took it to Chelsea. He was nice. He had hamsters - this has nothing to do with the sex, just an observation about an older man who keeps hamsters for pets. He had a tattoo of a crab on his shoulder, probably something astrological I imagined. I didn't ask. I fucked him until he came. He threw away the shit-smelling condom and cleaned himself off in the bathroom while I continued to jerk myself off. He came back, helped me come.
As I was getting dressed, he asked me about my tattoo. I told him it was of Walt Whitman. "Literary too!" he said, silently complimenting the other qualities, the ones having to do with physical attraction, that I knew he saw in me from the way he looked at me. "Are you a writer?" he asked.