Franklin bounced up and down on the treadmill, jogging along at a comfortable 9:45 pace. He checked his heart rate by grasping the machine’s silver diodes; 156, right on target. He tried to pay attention to CNN correspondent Melba Valourez as she described the latest meetings on the “fiscal cliff”, but despite his best intentions, his eyes kept drifting back to the cheese.
It was just sitting there on the window sill, right in front of the treadmill immediately to his right: a wedge of brie. No plate and no crackers, just brie. Who brings brie into a gym, Franklin thought. And who leaves cheese on a window sill? Any window sill, let alone a window sill at a gym.
Is someone saving it for after their workout? Franklin hazarded a quick look around. Nobody else seemed disturbed by the presence of a soft, sweating cheese. In fact, nobody else seemed to notice it at all. He returned his gaze to the cheese and waited. Waited for 300 pounds of muscle in mesh shorts and a too-tight shirt to claim the brie. The adonis would simply scoop up the cheese in one hand and bite into it like an apple, chew noisily for a a few minutes, working the soft cheese around with his tongue, and then finally wash it down with a swig from his Nalgene bottle. He’sdstare at Franklin as he walked away, daring him to judge. Franklin waited nervously, sweating more than his moderate workout would suggest.
Twenty minutes later, Franklin finished his run and carefully stepped off of the machine, never having had an encounter with the cheese’s owner. With regret, Franklin turned away and headed down to the locker room. He never learned what happened to the brie, whether it was swept up by the janitor or claimed by a patron. But Franklin was inspired, and the next day he brought with him a wheel of cheddar, set it on the window sill, and boarded his treadmill, smiling.