Another March day. The sun is shining, after some light snowfall. The snow in spring is so light it looks fake.
“It’s like the snow in the movies,” said Wife when she took off with Son and Daughter this morning.
I waved to them from the front door, until I saw Son’s red hat disappear behind the garage. I closed the door, packed my bag and went to the gym because while you can make a change any given day, sometimes you have to keep doing the same thing over and over again to really make a change.
Although, I’m still doing the exact same weight program I used in 1995, and see no change.
Anyway, I walked in, and got my lucky locker – number 2 – got changed and walked back into the main gym area. I was sitting on a bench, adjusting my hair, admiring myself in the mirror when a beefy man walked up to me and asked me if I was going to work out or just read the book I had in my hand. I said I had just finished, like I always do, and left the seat.
As I got up, I glanced at the mirror again, and realized that I wasn’t wearing any pants. I had walked naked into the gym, with just my Dallas Stars hat on.
Well, no, I didn’t. But I could have.
I only did a shorter workout today, and skipped stretching like I always do, because I was in a hurry to turn a great idea I had got walking on the treadmill into reality. I ran downstairs to the grocery store – my gym is at a mall – and asked to get the biggest cardboard box they had.
They said they didn’t have one, and I said that of course they had, and the guy at the customer service thought about it a second and said, “you’re right.”
“One of thems has to be the biggest one,” he said, turned around and gave me a blue and white box with “Chiquita” on the side.
“Perfect,” I said and ran up the escalator to the second floor. I tore a flap off a cardboard box, wrote “Stories bought and traded, 5 kronor” on it and put it up against the box, then sat behind it on the floor to wait for customers.
And I sat there for hours, listening to people’s fantastical tales.
Well, no I didn’t. But I could have.
Instead, I walked home, and listened to music. I sang along as I always do, and I tap danced all the way to the tunnel when I saw two kids standing in the middle of it, facing each other. I saw clouds of smoke around them, but I wasn’t sure if it was from cigarettes or just air – in which case, strictly speaking, it wasn’t really smoke – but I decided to keep an eye on them as I got closer.
The taller kid had his back towards me, the smaller one looked like he was ten or so. And he had something in his mouth. I stopped tap dancing.
“Yo, man, kids, homesies,” I said, and they turned around. Well, the taller one turned around, the shorter kid just stared at me.
“High-five, low-five, beetches,” I said, and the boys smiled.
“Yo,” they said in unison.
“A little graffiti,” said the taller kid.
“Hey, guys, can I help you?” I said.
The kids looked at each other. The taller boy whispered something to the smaller kid – who, by the way had a lollipop, not a cigarette in his mouth – and his face lit up.
“Are you really Paksy? The Banksy of Sollentuna?” the smaller kid asked me.
“Yes, son. Yes, I am,” I said, and then painted my tag on the wall.
Well. I didn’t. But I could have. That didn’t happen. But it could have.
Instead, I came home and worked for a few hours.
Except that I didn’t. But I could have.
I should have.