Thursday, February 5, 2015

Those Men , Chapter One: They Are Everywhere

They are everywhere; tough, aggressive , loud, noisy, messy and strong… they are men !

You could feel the testosterone the moment you get into that big gym! Men everywhere… everyone of them is working out and building his body for a reason; some want to be more attractive in the eyes of women, others want to be more ‘mocho’ ,  while some of them  go there  to lose weight and be healthier…

Joseph was looking for his gym buddies…  His friend Adam entered the gym very quickly that , when Joseph said ‘hey’ to him, answered without even looking .  Then he saw Omar on the bench holding very heavy weights , he stood by the bench and helped him, but Omar seemed to be  very consumed in his thoughts that they did not say a word while doing the exercise. He then decided to go upstairs and take his gym bag and leave; passing by the shower area he saw Sami, about to get into the shower.

He held his hand and asked him: “Hey buddy, aren’t you going to take off your clothes before getting into the shower?”

Sami looked at him and said quietly before he let his hand out of Joseph’s : “No.”
Joseph took his bag and left the gym !

He entered the gym quickly , replied to someone who said  ‘hey’   without even recognizing or looking at the person who said it,  and ran towards his destination. He did not even take a key for a closet nor did he change his clothes, he jumped over the treadmill and started running !!!!

Adam is a person who follows the rules, even though he is 36 years old, he never broke any rule in his life, not even when he was in  college… but this time he did, instead of starting at a low speed and then increasing it, he started running immediately… he wanted to sweat .. just sweat…

He watched himself on the mirror while running, he noticed the drops of sweat forming on his forehead.. he had black short hair with some grey hairs that made him more attractive and actually look younger! The moment he started sweating heavily, his tears started falling !!! He wanted to sweat so he can just cry without anyone noticing him , he ran and ran… cried and cried….

The faster he ran, the more he cried.… minutes ago he had just known that his wife, the love of his life..has been cheating on him.. He never thought of his marriage as a perfect one , yet he couldn’t believe that after seven years of marriage , this would happen. He was overwhelmed with all kinds of feelings; rage, anger and betrayal… but the one that conquered him the most was the need to cry !!

After one hour of running , he stopped the machine ; what he did later was explained by people around him as a sign of exhaustion after all the hard work, but actually it was nothing but a sign of his desperation…

He stopped the treadmill, fell down on the ground , sweating and crying… and then he… started  screaming !!!
Sami entered the gym with a big smile, spoke to couple of guys and then started working out. Sami belongs to the group of people who are loved by everyone; he is nice, sociable, understanding and add to this that being overweight made people think more of him as a ‘cute’ person.

He always looks at himself during the aerobics class, he looks at his dark blond hair and gray eyes….. He hates it when people keep saying :It is true that he is heavy, yet he has a very handsome face. He was never able to overcome his weight issues even though he goes to the gym regularly… His battle with weight is similar to his other battles, he never fights fiercely , he just works on keeping things stable.

His work out was over, and while going to the shower he noticed his friend Adam running on the treadmill very fast that he thought of going to him and ask him to slow down a bit, but he was stopped by a phone call. When he finished it, he headed immediately to the shower and when he was about to step in, he felt a hand holding his.

“Hey buddy, aren’t you going to take off your clothes before getting into the shower?”, Joseph asked.
“No.”, he said quietly and took his hand out of Joseph’s.

He stepped into the shower with his clothes on, opened the hot water tap, and stood under it quietly while wrapping his hands around his body like a scared little boy who was about to be beaten… he couldn’t stop his tears  from falling within the heavy flow of water…

Some people plan their day while having a shower while others enjoy the feeling of relaxation that  hot water gives them… Sami kept thinking of her… how they met, how he believed in love at first sight, how they became friends, how they became best friends, how he couldn’t imagine his life without her …. and how his heart was broken minutes ago when she called him to say that she is getting married!!!

He stood under the water for a long time, he could feel the weight of the wet clothes pushing him down…. He stood on his knees,, laid his head on the wall and cried…. Silently!!!
Omar was into perfection ! perfect body, perfect clothes and perfect grades at university… Everyone at the gym was impressed and jealous of that ripped body that no one can pass by without noticing. The only thing that was far away from perfect was his family, a father who is living his middle age crisis, a mother who got addicted to several types of medicine and a brother and sister who have done every single mistake in the book!

The best way to describe his state is that he got used to his family the way they are, he learned how to cover for his father’s affairs, how to lie to the pharmacist to get big amounts of medicine for his mom and how to ‘clean up’ the mess caused by his two siblings..

He thought that when his turn comes to tell them , that they would understand…He stood in front of them and started speaking… he allowed himself for the first time to cry in front of them as he was telling  them about everything that he wanted to say  since he was fourteen, those feelings that he oppressed for a long time, the feeling of shame he had within and how he couldn’t stand it anymore and how desperate he was for his family’s support…

That cold house where no one speaks to the other, the house that some people might think that no one lives in, was full of screams and chaos..

He was stunned, looking at his family members who suddenly became ‘angels’ preaching all over the place, judging him and saying all kinds of bad words to him… He left them screaming and got out of the house.

He went to the gym  and started his body building session , he just wanted to distract himself from what had just happened, he lifted very heavy weights, he wanted to bury himself under them , he wanted to feel the physical pain instead of the psychological one.. His gym partner was not there, he was all by himself, at one point he was not able to hold the weights anymore, he wanted to scream at that moment but Joseph’s body standing on the metal stand over him stopped him, he helped him do the exercise and then went upstairs….

He kept playing and lifting weights until every excruciating pain found its way to every single muscle in his body. He then stood up and left the gym.
When Sami went out of the gym he was shocked seeing Adam, Omar and Joseph waiting by the entrance…
“Hello guys, what are you doing here?”
“I wish I could know, but Joseph refuses to tell us, he is keeping us hostages here until you come…” Omar answered.

Adam took his hoodie off his head and looked at Joseph  and said to him: “So, since all of us are here , what is it Omar? And remember that I told you that I am not in the mood of hanging out, so if it is something silly, I swear I am gonna….”

Joseph’s answer interrupting Adam’s sentence was followed by a long silence…
“It did not work! My surgery did not work!”

When no one could answer, Joseph completed with his teary eyes: “I want to talk, I want to let it out.. I am desperate, I am sad, I am angry, I just feel the urge to cry… It all came out of a sudden that I am unable to comprehend what has just happened… “

While he was talking, every guy felt that he was being described… they all hoped they had the courage to let it out the same way Joseph did…

“I just feel alone… just alone.”

Adam and Sami hugged him, and Omar said: “Don’t worry, it is gonna be ok! It is just a test… a very difficult test that hopefully you will get out of it stronger…. Cry and let it out… we are here for you…
They are everywhere…

Unable to express their feelings because they were taught that emotions must be oppressed…

Crying silently away from the whole world hoping for a hand to pat over their shoulder…

Desperate for speaking and letting it all out but as if a hand is pressing hard over their throats, mouths and souls preventing them from it…

Sensitive,,,, Kind hearted and human….

They are … men !

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About Me

Palestinian/ Freelance writer, translator and Trainer./ I believe that writing is therapy and that is why I write./ 26 years old.
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