The new normal kinda sucks

I didn’t see Ross Valenti at the gym Monday.
He didn’t come over and distract me with welcomed chit-chat as I ran on an elliptical apparatus.
I didn’t see his wife Larry either. Larry is one of a kind. And not just because she is a gal named Larry.
I didn’t see “Beagle” Dietrich, which I had hope to so I could offer my condolences on the recent death of his brother, Frankie, in Florida.
Beagle typically appears on the elliptical right next to me just when I’m ready to punk out and quit and drags me through my last couple of miles. Monday I was on my own.
I didn’t see Stan Rovinski, so I didn’t get caught up on the local political scuttlebutt.
Or Stan Waleski. Or Charlie Dominick.
Or Bobby Devlin and his bright smile and infectious laugh.
I didn’t see Joe Hoffman.
Or Rick Romanko.
I didn’t see Al Insognia, my high school classmate, or his wife, Judy, who’s even more positive than I am.
To employ bad English, because sometimes bad English says it better than good, I didn’t see nobody when I returned to the gym for the first time in a year.
It wasn’t nearly as much fun.

Ed Ackerman