So the anaerobic physicist has returned from his trip overseas. (For those of you who are joining us in medias res, I am referring to my step aerobics instructor who also has a Ph.D. in physics and is fluent in Italian and is my soul mate, though he doesn’t know about the last part.)
Due to poor planning on my part, I was unable to go to his Friday night step class. Since I’m going to be out of town next Friday, this meant that it would be weeks before I saw him, and he would think I had stopped coming to his step class because I am in love with him and can’t deal with the fact that he has a boyfriend, and I would then never be able to go to his step class again because then I would have to see him and be utterly humiliated. I was about to go mad with frustration until I checked his web site and saw that he was going to be subbing for another instructor’s class this morning.
So instead of sleeping in, I woke up early and went to Union Square. When he saw me, he seemed pleasantly surprised; I of course pretended to have had no idea he was going to be there, and claimed (lying through my teeth) that I had a meeting in the neighborhood and figured I’d just stop by the gym beforehand. I’d practiced several amusing things to say off-hand in Italian once he mentioned that he spoke Italian (my knowledge of his skill in that area having come from stalking him rather than from his ever having said anything about it), but by the time I realized he wasn’t going to mention that he spoke Italian I’d already said all the amusing things in English, and my Italian is rusty enough that I didn’t trust myself to improvise, so I pretended to have to get a drink of water and fled the scene.
When I came back, there were still a few minutes before class started, and he was entangled in a conversation with a woman taking the class. She had evidently been a regular at one of his classes some years ago and was catching up. She asked some question too quietly for me to hear, and he answered, with a laugh, “No, not yet. I think it’ll be quite some time.” I couldn’t decide whether she’d asked him if he’d gotten tenure yet, in which case I could go on with my life, or if he’d settled down with somebody yet, in which case I would have to kill myself, because of course if he was dismissive about the idea of settling down with somebody, then that means he’s not serious about his boyfriend and yet he still doesn’t want to date me, which means he doesn’t love me and never will.
Such was the state in which I started step class. It actually went quite well, and I managed to keep the semblance of a smile plastered on my face for most of the time, though this was made more difficult by my constant uncertainty about whether my staring at him would come across as appropriately watching the teacher or pathetic and undisguised doomed love.
At one point the tape ran out, and he went over to change it, muttering rhetorically, “What’s next?” I said, “Chocolate!”, which was about the level of humor of which my brain was capable at the moment. He stared at me, baffled, and said, “What?” Thinking that I must have spoken too quietly, which I often do, I croaked “Chocolate!” with more volume and projection. He said, “What?” again. “CHOCOLATE!” I screamed. He continued to stare at me, and the woman he’d been talking to before class said, “Abs!” and he turned to her and said, “No, abs is later.” Then he put in a new tape and I committed seppuku.
Unfortunately, he didn’t notice my ritual suicide, so I had to finish the class.
After class was over, a thin ray of hope entered my life. We were doing abs and had gotten to a part where our legs were supposed to be up in the air. This being a position with which I am quite familiar, I figured I had it down pat, but as he walked by, he adjusted my feet.
He touched me.
I mean, he touched my shoes, but still. I almost fainted right then and there.
Then I went and had lunch with a cute (but unfortunately unavailable) guy who also takes his step class regularly, and I told him about the momentous event, and he said, “Oh, yeah, he adjusts my feet all the time.”
It’s too bad I’ve already committed seppuku today, because I don’t know what else I can do to put myself out of my misery.
I’d throw myself out my window, but I’m only on the second floor, so I’d probably just break my hand again.