chirpy gym desk person: Hi! How can I help you?
me: I want to cancel my membership.
cgdp: Oh, I’m sorry. May I ask why?
me: A car hit me in the parking lot a couple of days ago.
cgdp: blank stare.
Apparently, this is not one of the replies employees of Freedom Fitness are trained to respond to. She just mumbled and handed me a form, and that was that.
I thought about trying to explain. That running is my joy, my solace, my daily celebration of life. That I run to escape; to go to my happy place. That there is now a Silverado pickup sitting in the parking lot every day with my paint on the bumper. That they didn’t have the decency to leave a note or claim responsibility, and I am once again dismayed with the sadness that is the human race. That I’m too cowardly to confront the person, and too lazy to go through the police in an effort I know ultimately will be futile. That it’s impossible to run when you’re so mad that your only mind game is coming up with sadistic forms of revenge you would never actually be clever enough or daring enough to execute. That the karma of the place has changed forever.
I filled out the form, waved goodbye to the joint, and poured the quart of cat urine into the place beneath the windshield that’s impossible to remove. At least in my imagination that’s what I did.
They say treadmill running is bad for the soul. I never believed them.
And that was my last day at the gym.