I never did like going to fitness centers or suburban gyms. All those cheerfully slim twenty year olds flirting and preening just never made me feel like lumbering around in stretchy cotton walmart wear, sweating like a pig while watching them covertly smirk. Fortunately I have one of those Bowflex home gyms, the kind with the power rods that work with pulleys and cables. This gives me the freedom to have a workout whenever it fits, and no need for a twenty minute drive to get there since I have it set up in my bedroom. For quite a while I’ve had a rolling target of having a workout five days out of every seven. This gives me the option of taking a day off but I try to never go more than two days between sessions. Lately I’ve increased the frequency by adding additional sessions in the mornings on some days. In addition to the physical workout, these sessions provide a “close to” meditative space as the repetitive exercises roll along and I find it to be mentally quite refreshing.
For about half of each session, I look out through the sliding glass door that opens on to the balcony, to the house that my ex-wife and I and our two girls used to live in for close to a decade. There’s the big leafy maple that I fell out of and broke my leg. There’s the past, which I look beyond, at the Sooke Hills off in the distance. Every so often an eagle soars, and then perhaps a seaplane or a helicopter carves its way across the sky. When we sold the house and divided the assets, there were a number of big heavy objects to pick from and I chose the Bowflex, for one of my spoils in the war we called a marriage. Thanks to a favorable real estate market we both made out well and the spoils of war erased a lot of what might have been rancor and bitterness.
This morning I was about to prepare for a morning workout when the phone rang, or strummed, to be more accurate.
“Hi Dave, its Doris”
“Hi Doris, what’s up?”
“Bob’s finally ready to move the boat, can I get you to move your car?”
“Sure thing Doris, I’ll be right out and hey, congratulations!”
You see, the thing is, this large boat had been parked in the driveway for some four or perhaps five years; the matter is under dispute, as Bob rebuilt virtually every single part and fitting on the craft, as well as on the trailer. It had only moved for a few weeks last summer when it went to a shipyard to be repainted. Today it looked sharp in gunmetal gray and shiny aluminum itching to be launched. As it turned out, it took a considerable while to line up the truck and drop the hitch onto the ball. Just when it appeared that the moment of departure was at hand, yet another delay occurred as Bob discovered that the safety chains were too short. But Bob is nothing if not resourceful and sure enough he had more chain and a hacksaw and before long, all was well and good and the boat was on its way down the hill, on its way to the sea.
Now some of you might be asking what I’m doing renting the suite, in the house across from where I used to live. Well, I’ve always tried to be an engaged citizen, somebody who steps up when there’s a call, and as a result during our time in the suburban dream, the two car garage five bed three bath prize and anchor, I joined the local initiatives. I was committed to the local park and community hall and when I resigned from various positions Bob and Doris, or BoDo for short, said,
“Dave, you can’t leave the street, why not move into our suite?”
“”I’d love to but your suite is nowhere near finished, you’ve been working on it for years now!”
“Don’t worry, there’s plenty of time, it’ll be ready in lots of time”.
It wasn’t, predictably. I ended up spending about six weeks in BoDo’s guest bedroom, as a series of delays forestalled my installation into my bachelor paradise. In the end it worked out well. I resumed my activities with the park and the community hall and was able to enjoy the same sounds and ambience as my life morphed; some continuity counts for a lot at times of stress. And now I’m fully reconciled with my past, and watch the seasons work their magic on the property that I once thought was mine, an illusion of time and space.