Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Rosy Ballyhoo

Lately, I haven’t been posting with my usual regularity because I’ve been busy with putting my book together, working out, helping my sister paint and preparing new recipes for Thanksgiving. I miss having the time to sit down and write and reflect on my life. I also miss exploring my blog pal’s thoughts. I am kind of sad that I lost so many readers when I chose to delete my old blog, but I’m thankful for the cool people who are still part of my little world.

Yesterday, my sister and I tried a new recipe for Cranberry Chutney and Banana Crème Pie that we found on the internet. We are also responsible for making carrots and corn with browned butter drizzled over the top. We learned that little trick from watching our grandparents in their kitchen when we were little girls. We are the youngest Swedish chefs on the scene and therefore lack a specialty, so we just make extra stuff. The rest of my family is providing all of the traditional fare.

My uncle is doing the turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and pumpkin pie. He’s usually our gracious dinner party host, since he and his life partner (or husband, as I think if him) have the most gloriously spacious home in our family. They have been together for over twenty years, so they are my two beloved uncles. My grandparents are making fruit salad, cucumber salad, sweet potatoes, apple pie, pecan pumkin pie, chocolate cake, rice krispie treats, cookies and brownies. My aunt is bringing a veggie tray, green bean casserole and an apple cake. I’m sure that I forgot something, but I think that will be plenty.

This will be the first Thanksgiving without my mother at our table, since we lost her to leukemia last April. My sister and I prepared our dishes in her kitchen yesterday. We used her kitchen tools. We talked about the fact that it will be strange not to share it with her tomorrow. We knew that she would be proud that we were cooking together in her house led by our memories of her examples. Missing her makes every day bittersweet, especially the holidays.

I'm concerned about how my dad will handle his feelings. I know that he misses her as hard as a person can possibly be missed.

I just got home from the gym. I’m sore, but muscle fatigue means progress. I also feel good about dedicating an hour or more per day on improving my fitness level and slimming down my silhouette. I’m happy that my sister and I have been spending more time together. She has even been coming to the gym with me a couple of times per week.
I’ve also met a few interesting people, while sweating in Cardio Heaven. Heaven is really not the adjective that I would choose for the place, but it’s how it was introduced by the trainer who showed me around the place last year. I think of it more as a bacteria infested stink pit with machines meant for body moving.

Body movin' body movin'
A1 sound' sound so soothing
Body movin' body movin'
We be getting down and you know we're crush groovin'
*Beastie Boys

I generally go to the gym during the late morning hours. I usually avoid the evenings unless I’m there to take a class, since the gym is more crowded. The daytime crowd is made up mostly of friendly retirees, a few bored housewives and the occasional second shifter, unemployed person or injury rehabilitator, which means that most of the virile men, who might be curve watching, are at work.

I’m fairly shy, so I’m not usually into socializing with strangers. I’m a loner who usually prefers telling my feelings to a Microsoft Word document rather than talking to my real friends. Besides, I’m at the gym to burn butter so my body stays healthy for hopefully another 60+ years.

With that said, I have met a few friendly faces. My first gym boyfriend was a retired gentleman of advanced age called Milt, who has a knack for kindness and making people smile. He always wears a white t-shirt with gray shorts and keeps a written record of his repetitions. He reminds me of a cute, old turtle with a white head band hugging his balding head and his bespectacled sky-blue eyes. He calls his Monday, Wednesday and Friday gym visits “his religion.” He introduced me to the self-proclaimed midday mayor of the gym, Tom.

Tom calls Milt “Uncle Milty”. He calls me “Jessica Rabbit.” Tom is about six feet tall with an average build, although I’m not sure what he really looks like, since I’m reluctant to really check him out. However, I noticed that he has sparkling blue eyes, a dazzling smile and distracting buns. My impression is that he spends almost as much time getting to know everyone as he does getting physical. He seems to greet most of the people in the gym. I’ve heard him repeat, “I’m glad to see you.” to several gym buddies. I guess that it makes people feel good, which seems to be his specialty, as he is a massage therapist.

Today, I was treated to a surprise back and neck rub while riding the stationary bike. I knew that it must be Tommy Blue Eyes' well-trained hands sending chills through me and melting me into the seat. He politely inquired about my Thanksgiving plans and after a brief conversation, he left the scene for an appointment--and left my body aching for his skilled fingertips. Hormones were coursing through me faster than the 85 reps per minute that I was pedaling. I’m still not sure whether I’m attracted to him or whether it was just the relaxing endorphins that rushed through me at his touch. It felt like lusty cranberry cocktail. I would call it a Cosmopolitan--tart and tinged with pink like my blushing cheeks.

I think it would be wise for me to avoid him. If he approaches me to say hello, I’ll be polite, but I don’t intend to initiate a conversation with him. I don’t like the idea of having a crush on a gym buddy. I don’t like the power that it might have over me. I don’t want to think about sex while I’m working out. It’s too distracting.

I wonder what his shaft would feel like if I were to guide my hand up his inner thigh and into the leg-hole of his shorts. I wonder what his hard tool might feel like if he were pressed up against me, caressing my curves.

See what I mean?

My imagination is getting carried away. I don’t even know him--and besides who wants to get naked with a guy who gets off on knowing everyone’s business at the gym? Who cares about all of that gabbing and gossip?

Oh, I met this older guy named Willis last week. He sat down on the bike beside me and asked me to race him. I giggled and told him that he’d probably win. I hear him talking with several guys in his age group whenever they visit the gym. In my head they are the black Manny, Moe and Jack pack. Remember those guys from the old Pep Boys commercials? (I love that place. I want to go buy a new winter white, sheepskin steering wheel cover. My steering wheel is cold in the morning!) I told him that their laughs make me smile. They have such a good time just chatting with each other. They are an endearing bunch of men. I shook their hands today and asked, “What’s your favorite thing to eat on Thanksgiving?” They agreed on turkey. I told them that I liked everything, so I’d be at the gym every day next week. They laughed.

I’ll have a little taste of everything tomorrow. It’s only one day out of the year. I like to splurge on the holidays. I’ll go back to my regular diet routine on Friday. I'll also be back at the gym. I don't like to go shopping on Black Friday. Do you?


PaxRomano said...

Jess you never cease to amaze with your prose; food, family, soft-core, and a dislike of shopping (you and me both!).

Enjoy your holiday; I am sure your mom is somewhere watching out for you and yours.

Oh and your two uncles;how cool is that??? Twenty years! Me and my partner hit ten this coming February...

Happy Turkey day!

Jessica said...

Pax, I love shopping--online! And, the occasional store when it's not crowded and I can get in and out quickly.

Yes, I recall that they have lived together since I was in junior high school. They are my favorite uncles.

Congratulations to you and Mr. X! (I think I read that it is what you call him while writing on your blog) I love hearing about long term love stories!

SCH said...

Jess, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. How is your book coming along?

jbgrinch said...

I know that you'll all miss your mom. It is hard to be without the ones you love. have a good thanksgiving and a safe one too!

Bud said...

Jess, I find sexual fantasies very helpful at the gym. Keeps my pulse up. I don't focus on the old gals though. If there is nobody nice to look at, I just get absorbed in my iPod with my eyes closed. But whatever works for you is fine.

I too am dining with some gay friends today. Always makes me miss my brother who died of AIDS in '87. So I'm with you on the missing Mom situation. The first and second time through the cycle is pretty hard. It gets easier if you can talk about the really best times as a gift your passed loved ones gave you. Memories are gifts that keep living. Hope you have a splendid day!