Gripping the handles on the eliptical, I glance down at the sensors’ estimates of my heart rate and body temperature. I know these are probably inaccurate, but I still like to look. Mostly what I try to do is make the pulse number go really high, and then try to keep it there. Everyone else around me is glazing above at one of the TVs attached high on the wall. There’s three of them in front of the two rows of cardio machines. After I raise my pulse above 160 and manage to keep it there for about 20 seconds I join the rest of them staring at the TV. A Lil Wayne music video subtitled with no sound is on right now.
It’s just before six in the evening when I exit the fluorescent fitness center. Outside, it’s already dark as night. On my phone, is a text from Moriah wondering where I am. I was supposed to be back by 5:20 for dinner.
I walk back to my dorm listening to Drake’s So Far Gone and Death Cab For Cutie on my iPod touch. Because of the snow and ice, there are very few people walking around campus. The cars and buses don’t feel a part of campus to me. I don’t feel connected to them the same way I would a pedestrian. With Drake’s soothing yet ambitious voice entering my ears, I walk back to Welch Hall in no rush.
Moriah has waited for me. She is hangry, so I decide to go with her to the cafeteria without taking a shower. The low temperature along with the fact that my sweat doesn’t ever smell like other people’s do, makes it no big deal.
“Where were you today?” she asks me on the way.
“I can see that, but I meant why just now?”
“I don’t know. I felt… energized. So I just went on a whim.”
“Hmmm. Okay, Ice Princess.”
After grabbing food, we sit down at a table filled with people we sometimes eat with. They leave soon after we sit down because they have already been there for nearly an hour now. When it’s just me and Moriah, she tells me about her day, her plans for the weekend. Apparently she’s hanging out with a guy named Jimmy. I know who Jimmy is, but because I don’t know anything about him, I prefer thinking of him as a guy named Jimmy.
“He has a friend. Would you want to come with us?” They are apparently watching a movie together. 500 Days of summer is showing at the campus cinema. I shake my head.
“I have to write a paper this weekend.”
She thinks for a second. Then she nods and says, “well okay.” I think that she is somewhat glad that I can’t come.