#188 - "The Hike"

posted Jun 28, 2012, 4:39 PM by Terrence Moss   [ updated Aug 17, 2012, 10:44 AM ]
Featuring:
Eugene – Erick’s neighbor friend

“Have you heard back from that promotions company yet?” Eugene asks Erick as they walk through the Fuller entrance of Runyon Canyon.

“Of course not. That requires some level of courtesy on their part,” Erick replies. “Besides, it’s only been a week.”

“It must be driving you crazy.”

“Not really. It’s not like I can do anything about it. I follow-up with an email and they don’t respond. I leave a voicemail, they don’t respond.”

“Did you send a thank you note?”

“Yes, but if that’s the difference between hiring me and another person, then they should just go with another person.”

“Why do you say that?”

“I don’t know. It’s just always been the most annoying part of interviewing. And unnecessary. I’ve interviewed people. I don’t give a shit if they send me a thank you card. I don’t even care if they acknowledged having come in for the interview in the first place. All I care about is that they’re not a jackass.”

“It can only help you stand out.”

“How do I stand out if everyone is sending them?” Erick asks as he spots another hiker approaching him and Eugene. “He’s cute.”

“All yours.”

The hiker passes by. Erick whips his head around to check him out from behind. “That’s even cuter.”

Eugene shakes his head. “You have no shame.”

“Why should I be ashamed? It’s LA. It’s Hollywood. It’s Runyon Canyon. It’s all out here on display for my aesthetic pleasitude.”

“Speaking of aesthetic pleasitude, has Chris noticed anything different about you?”

“Nope.”

“Really?”

“I can barely notice. Plus, my clothes aren’t hanging all that differently on me than they were before I started training with you.”

“That’s surprising.”

“Which part?”

“Chris not noticing.”

“In his defense, he’s developed a bit of a belly of late. Between that and his job, he’s otherwise preoccupied. But even if he had noticed, he wouldn’t dare broach the subject with me. It’s become the great irony of our entire relationship.”

“If it’s anything to you, I’ve noticed.”

“Which way do you want to go?” Erick asks as the trail diverges. To left is the longer, paved path with a steadier incline that Erick now prefers. To the right is the shorter but steeper dirt path with makeshift stairs that Erick has decided is far more taxing on his knees.

Eugene directs Erick toward the path he knows Erick would rather travel. “I don’t know why you bothered asking in the first place.”

Erick smirks. “By the way, you don’t have a choice but to notice.”

“What makes you say that?”

“Because any difference you don’t see in me could be seen as a reflection on you as my trainer.”

“Or it could be a reflection on you as a trainee. I’ve noticed multiple jars of cookie butter in your apartment.”

“That’s not all me. I’ve got Chris hooked on that as well. But we both eat it with apples...or directly out of the jar.”

“Be careful with apples. They’re not as ‘keep the doctor away’ as has long been thought.”

“And that is why I don’t listen to reports and studies. Things change too much. It’s just easier to make it all up on my own.”

“I’m not saying apples are bad. I’m saying that I wouldn’t rely on them as much as you may be doing.”

“You can’t trust salads and you can’t trust apples. I remember a time when eating was actually enjoyable.”

“And during those times your shorts were probably a lot tighter on you than they are now.”

Erick rolls his eyes. “How’s your client list growing?”

“Slowly but steady. And I appreciate the shout-outs on Facebook – even if they are a bit snide at times.”

“What’s snide about ‘Body by Eugene has the kind of face you want to hate but can’t.’”

“That wasn’t too bad, but ‘Every time Body by Eugene makes me do knee jumps, I imagine the ground is his face’ stung a little.”

“But I hate knee jumps.”

“I know you do. That’s why I make you do them.”

“And that’s why the ground is your face.”

“One of these days you’ll thank me.”

Erick rolls his eyes again. “That guy just checked you out.”

“No he didn’t.”

“Eugene dear, I am the foremost authority on checking guys out. I was watching his eyes as they were watching your...feet.”

Eugene looks down at his feet. “Why would he care about my feet?”

Erick shakes his head. “You’re so cute. Do you ever actually notice when someone’s checking you out?”

“Not really. Besides, I’m not all that interested in being checked out.”

“So all those poor guys out there yearning and pining for you are just shit out of luck?”

“One guy checking me out does not a bunch of poor guys out there make.”

“Heartbreaker.”

“I could say that same about you.”

“Did I tell you my mother set up a blog?”

“Good for her.”

“We’ll see. She called me the other day to find out if I knew that my father had gotten remarried. Of course, I knew. She knew I knew. She just wanted to know why I didn’t tell her. I told her that she probably should have heard that from him. But since she didn’t, apparently it was my job to tell her so that she didn’t have to hear about it from some so-called friend of the family. I told her that if that so-called friend of the family was such a friend than they wouldn’t have said anything at all. But it’s all about the dirt, the dish and the gossip with some of those people.”

“How’d your mom take the news?”

“She’s fine. Or so she says. I know for sure that she wanted to be the first to remarry. I don’t see why. I’ve been encouraging her to live in sin with the next person she finds worth going to hell with for. She doesn’t want to do that because that would make it easier for them to leave. I told her that if he wants to leave, make it easy for him to do so. But if he wants to come back, that’s when you make it hard.”

“Is she even dating anyone?”

“Nope. We tend to get ahead of ourselves.”

“What’s her blog about?”

“It’s about being a first wife. It could be really good if she keeps up with it.”

“Will she?”

“I haven’t a clue. She gets annoyed when she posts something on Facebook and no one comments or likes it. So then I get a call from her to make a comment or like the post. I can only imagine the calls I’ll get if she doesn’t get 100 comments, 500 shares and a 1000 hits each time she uploads a blog entry.”

Erick and Eugene walk silently for a couple of minutes, both of them enjoying the beauty of the late southern California morning -- and the multiple mounds of flesh glistening under its warm bright sun.

“Have you ever been one of those guys who checks me out?” Eugene asks out of the blue.

Erick stops and watches a group of joggers pass by. "If I have been, it's only because you happened into my line of sight...although I'll admit, not all that unwillingly."

Eugene catches Erick's eye. "Does this mean I have a chance with you?"