In the deepest, darkest, recesses of my home sits the most intimidating beast known to humanity. Even as I think about it now, my thighs start to quiver and my knees ache.
Although most likely, the reason for that is that I know when I interact with the beast, my thighs really will quiver, and my knees really will ache.
I remember the day the beast first destroyed the comfortable, lazy atmosphere of my basement. It was a fateful day, indeed. It started when a shirt button wedged itself free from the front of my shirt. The button zinged across the room, and tried to attack the love of my life.
She pointed toward the garage, and said, “Let’s go”
We walked into a luxuriously laid out showroom, which was clearly reserved for the affluent. I promptly turned around seeking the door. Alas, my beloved must have anticipated that move. With her firm grip on my arm, we (or at least, I) cautiously approached an entire row of the intimidating beasts.
A friendly face came up behind me, and I whispered in his ear. “Can we see the self-propelled models, please?” The look on his face clearly revealed it was an overused question in his line of work.
With a confidence and vigor that I did not share, my wife approached the beast. To my astonishment, she actually seemed to admire the thing. I have to admit the sleek, silver, and black lines of construction and the rock-solid stance would have been appealing, if it were not for the hidden agenda that defined the beast’s purpose.
“We have to think of our health,” my loved one purred in my ear, as her hand snaked its way toward my back pocket.
“But that thing frightens me,” I blurted out.
“You need this,” she said, patting my stomach.
“It’s so expensive, I protested.
She whispered in my ear sweet promises of what I could have after travelling a few miles with the beast. My resolve melted, and the credit card flew out my wallet.
The next day I welcomed the beast into my home and stood gently caressing its frame. I was as excited as a kid in a candy store was. I could not wait to start my daily interaction with this new thing in my life.
I swore the two deliverymen were chuckling to each other as they walked away. Were they making fun of my exuberance? Did they honestly know something that I did not?
Day One, I delightfully glided down to the stairs to interact with my new friend.
Day Two, I cursed the awful creature and turned on the TV instead.
Day Three, with stern encouragement from the one I love, I trudged painfully down the steps.
Day Four, I professed my vexation with the world from beneath the safety of the blankets.
Day Five, after, the one I love upped the ante, I gritted my teeth, and I attacked the beast once again.
Day Six, I resolved to undoubtedly prove to my beloved that two days in a row, would in fact, kill me.
Day Seven, I awoke still alive, and weakly admitted she was right.
Day Eight, I started the whole ritual over again.
This went on for quite nearly a month. However, soon my quivering thighs and aching knees overwhelmed my good intentions. A thin layer of dust enveloped the beast’s silver sleekness. The candy store excitement had ebbed into a casual wave with a coffee cup as I walked by. The bright flicker of the LED display extinguished for what I hoped was eternity.
Then I remembered….the doctor’s office. The doctor sat on his little rolling stool, glancing back and forth from me, to his folder full of forms and charts, to my wife, then back to me.
“I know you know what I’m going to say,” he smiled.
“No.” I whimpered as I feigned my ignorance.
“The E word,” he muttered as he turned to my wife seeking her agreement.
The thought drove my chin into my chest, as my emotions feel into the depths of the dark basement, literally.
So, that is my story, sad but true. I sit here this morning, using only my fingers to share my thoughts. My quivering thighs and aching knees will not allow me to do much of anything else, right now, as I recover from another morning’s stationary bike ride.