364 - Medicated


You finish your set of bench press and sit up on the bench to rest until your next set. Ever the people-watcher, you glance around the room at the various gym rats and cardio bunnies, the novices, the experts, and the hopelessly inept.

An older gentleman positioned in the smith machine next to you catches your eye. He digs furiously in his pockets. His eyes are wide and his expression grave as if he fears  his wedding ring has slipped from his finger, or perhaps that he has lost a small child whose care was entrusted to him. Maybe he is just terribly embarrassed that he has just farted in a public place - who's to say?

The expression softens and the man's shoulders sink in relief: he appears to have found what he is looking for. His hand retreats from the dark recesses of his Greg sweat pants pocket holding a small tube of Vaseline.

He coats the second and third fingers of his right hand with a generous, sloppy lump of petroleum jelly. To your horror, he slides the heavily lubricated fingers down the back of his pants, and an almost orgasmic expression of relief covers his face.

You let out a loud cry, "Aauugh!" Realizing what you've done, you clap your hands over your mouth, but it is too late.

The old man turns to you. To your surprise, he does not appear completely mortified at your attention; in fact, he doesn't even seem the slightest bit embarrassed.

"Hemorrhoids," he tells you. It is an answer you never wanted to a question you'd never have asked. "They chafe real bad when I'm doin' my squats, know what I mean?"

Your mouth drops open and you nod silently out of some misguided sense of politeness.

"How many sets you got left, son?" He asks "I almost always use the bar you're on. Don't much care for the smith machine."

This man, this hemorrhoided man, this public butt-spelunker, says he uses the bar you're pressing with on a regular basis.

"I'm done," you tell him. You leave the gym. You do not return.