The Human Comedy: Gary Golson Goes to the Gym

Fiction Poems, Little Fighter
Total: 0 Average: 0

Short Story

Gary Golson had to go to the gym
Three weeks of apathy had happened to him
Three weeks of atrophy had worn his limbs slim
He had to get back to the gym

But good lord, the gym was so far away!
Going by foot would take him all day
Why couldn’t the gym send a valet his way?
He got up from the couch with a sigh of dismay

Why did he pay someone to lift heavy weights?
They should pay HIM! Those lousy ingrates
He did the work while they munched on dates
Eighty dollars a month to move black metal plates!

The car ride was one red light after another
A phone call from Dad, a voicemail from Mother
He asked for the genes that they’d given to his brother
Six-three, one-ninety with abs like no other

Ah, the front desk — the horror, the abomination!
Personal trainers with scanners of grim condemnation
“It’s been almost a month, Gary — were you on vacation?”
And they wondered what’d happened to his self-motivation

The locker room stunk of sweat and stale feet
Old men greeted him with towel-less white meat
A sign said the shower was again without heat
And Gary contemplated a hasty retreat

“No!” he cried. “I have not yet begun to fight!”
He took he stairs in flight, fixed his sight to the right
The bench press waited to test his bright might
But so did the water fountain with the LED light

He leaned in his head and quenched his thirst
Wondering which machine he would dominate first
Squats, curls and dips could cause something to burst
As ideas went, a nice, easy stretch wasn’t the worst

“Ok,” said Gary, “time to work on my back.”
He sat at the rower and adjusted the rack
His biceps fired, hauling the stack
And Gary felt he was on the right track

Then he saw the game on the eliptical’s screen
It was Sunday! Big Blue was playing Gang Green!
His friends would be gathered at the local canteen!
While he pounded out his hip abductor routine

He had been there 20 minutes — surely that was enough
He had stretched and rowed and done hips and stuff
Beer and wings beckoned him to the watering trough
A man’s will-power is only so tough

Gary Golson left the gym less ashamed than before
The trainer called, “See you soon!” as he reached for the door
“Tomorrow!” Gary smiled. “I’ll do a lot more.
Or Tuesday. Or Thursday. This week, for sure!”

NEXT STORY: The Human Comedy: Thankskidding

PREVIOUS STORY: The Human Comedy: Dr. Hamster and the Medical Industrial Complex Empire

ALL STORIES: The Human Comedy

Check out more of Sam Rosenthal’s work at

Image Curve’s Manifesto

Total: 0 Average: 0

You may also like...

1 Response

  1. S. P. Reilly says:

    I’ve read about ten of your Human Comedy pieces now. It’s a great concept and they’re well done. I love the futility. I especially like this one and Piano Man. Keep it up.

Leave a Reply