Moving to the Country

My apartment complex has a gym where everyone goes to workout.
I go in the morning when it’s nice and quiet.
But I’m not always alone.
Sometimes other men from the community come in
and start using the machines.
Sometimes they’re speaking
a different language.

There are a number of Asian families in my neighborhood.
We’ve got a lot of immigrants and foreign nationals living here.
My neighborhood is temporarily diverse; there are plans to gentrify.
So, me and the people I’m living with will have to move out–
most likely to somewhere in the country.

Anyway, the old guys will wear track suits while they do leg lifts.
But some of the younger ones will wear jeans on the treadmill.
I know they’re just sneaking in a quick workout,
but I haven’t been able to do much more than take this
as a subtle affront to my gym shorts.

But I’ve still tried to make friends with the Asian guys in the gym.
I smile and wave every time I see them.
And one day while I was working out
I tried to strike up a conversation.
They waved even more emphatically
and gestured apologetically.

They don’t speak English, which is okay
because I probably won’t know them much longer.
I’m being forced to move to the country.

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