Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Dramatis Personae

So I've been working out with my trainer for two months now. And I'm starting to notice some results. More importantly, so is the domestic partner. Rowr!

But that's not the point of this post. The point is that we just saw Tropic Thunder, and the domestic partner is no longer in danger of being dumped for Ben Stiller. Don't get me wrong; Ben Stiller is still pretty goofy-handsome (my favorite kind of handsome) and his arms look totally jacked in this movie, but for some reason he's just not carbonating my coin purse like he used to.

Actually, that's not the point of this post either. I just wanted to say "carbonating my coin purse."

The point of this post was supposed to be a listing of the regulars I recently noticed I've been seeing every Tuesday and Thursday morning on either side of my 7:00 workouts. But now that I've said "carbonating my coin purse," I think I may have lost some of you. But for those of you who don't get distracted by unseemly metaphor, I'll go ahead and list the supporting players in the award-winning reality series of my life:

Bus Driver Guy.
Unlike the normal rush-hour time that I catch the bus for a normal workday, the buses—and, apparently, the drivers—all run like clockwork at 6:15 am in Chicago. I see this driver without fail every workout morning. And he's always smiley and good-morningy and his passengers are always quiet and respectful (or maybe they're just groggy and disoriented) and we zip downtown in a mere handful of traffic-free minutes, and I really like the experience.

Panhandler Guy. He's ensconced at the same Loop corner a block away from my gym every morning. At 6:40 am. Before anyone who could give him money has even started venturing out into the streets. Seriously—at that hour, it's just me and like three other people scuttling along the sidewalk on our way to pre-work appointments. And while you may question this dude's timing, you really have to respect his work ethic.

Holy Shit Guy. This dude works out at my gym. And he's distractingly hawt: Smokin' body. Handsome face. Perfect V-taper. Total lack of interest in acknowledging my friendly nods hello. I told my hopelessly straight trainer that I want to look like this guy. And for a straight guy, my trainer is alarmingly good at picking up subtext. So now he uses this information to mock me: "You have to get these last two reps or your hawt guy will never notice you." And it totally works. (The finishing-the-last-two reps part, not the hawt-guy-noticing-me part. At least not yet.)

Milk Crate Guy. After my workout, I leave the gym and walk five blocks to my office amid the hundreds of people who just got off of the train. And this dude is always on the same corner, squatting on an upside-down milk crate with a couple newspapers at his feet. But he's not begging for money. Or bothering anyone. In fact, he's just sitting there watching everyone walking by. It's as if he just wanted a good seat for the rush-hour show.

Crazy Conversation Guy. This one stands on a corner two blocks later. And he's what we will euphemistically call "a character." He will say anything crazy to engage any passer-by in conversation. But he's not threatening-crazy or disruptive-crazy; he's wacky-sitcom-next-door-neighbor-crazy. And every morning I see someone stop to chat back with him. Crazy!

So that's my list. Come back next week when I list every president in my coin purse.

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