The gym has holders for books and magazines for use on some of the machines that don’t have them built in. Often people use the holders for more than books and magazines — just as this guy was.
I don’t know this guy very well. We’ve talked a bit, and I carpooled with his uncle for a time more than 25 years ago. We’ve interfaced enough for me to get a bit of a perception of him.
I was pushing it pretty good and was focused on what I was trying to do (or maybe I was thinking about things I might write about) when all of a sudden there was a crash and a clatter next to me and he was flailing around to catch his stuff and the holder. Amazingly, it appeared that he had succeeded as he tried to get the holder set back up on the machine as well as his large sports drink and his keys.
Another ten minutes or so went by and I could see out of the corner of my eye that he was craning his body and neck around as though he was trying to find someone in the room. He kept that up for a a couple of minutes more and then I could see that he was beckoning to someone, but I couldn’t see who it was.
When she got over to us, I saw it was one of the fitness center workers. What he did next sealed my perception.
“Would you hand me my cell phone,” he asked, pointing down to the floor where it had landed over ten minutes before, as he continued to exercise at his less than vigorous pace.
She did. He did say, “Thank you,” very nicely.
You’ve got to be kidding!
Perception is important… even if I don’t know you.