I have to deal with a mystery that needs to be solved by the very same Sherlock Holmes, if he could become flesh and have a private detective’s office in the city I live in so I could hire his services.
It’s not the first time I have to deal with a case like this. My entire life I have tried endlessly to find out why the fuck some people never greet you. To greet is a verb that doesn’t involve any onerous activity. I mean: it doesn’t cost you any money. Your vocal cords don’t have to make any extra effort and you don’t have to secrete more saliva either. I, myself, lying on a hospital stretcher, with an endoscope, bigger than a firefighter’s fist, inserted in my mouth, a few minutes before a gastroscopy, greeted effusively the doctor and the nurse with the courtesy and politeness they both deserved. Yes, I admit it. That suffocated greeting was absolutely unintelligible, but perfectly acceptable because my facial expression, Salvador Dali-ish, with my eyes bulging histrionicly out from their sockets, more than made up for my temporary talking impediment.
Every day, I meet a middle-aged man at the gym who exercises his muscles to exhaustion, as a professional bodybuilder. Whether as a result of his real profession or a senile vigorexia or simply because he is a merry widower who wants to hook up with super cute twentysomething chicks, I don’t know.
None of this seems relevant to me and it would never have inspired me this blog entry if it hadn’t been for the fact that I have been greeting him for months (as we meet every day at the gym) and HE HAS NEVER EVER GREETED ME BACK. But I stubbornly keep greeting him. I have no sooner opened the fitness room’s door than I come face to face with him because he is ubiquitous, like God’s grace. If I do bench press, there he is. If pull-ups, he is also there. If I need the rope attachment, he has taken it of course. Besides, the ugly bastard has a habit of occupying several gym machines and taking a lot of attachments and bars for himself, scattering everything on the floor leaving a mess. To make matters worse, between sets, he walks around the fitness room, passing by me at full speed so close that he destabilizes me when doing walking lunges and making me forget about the number of reps.
In short, I hate him. The best day is Wednesday, because it’s the day he rests. So, I am at ease, without his annoying presence. I could overlook all these details if that hypertrophic sheriff greeted me. It’s the only thing that matters to me.
-HI!- I say challenging, staring at him fixedly and for an instant I imagine myself strangling him until he articulates the “hi” he owes me. Silence. He walks past me as if I were invisible. His greeting debt grows a little bit more. The same thing every day. Certainly, this is not a unique case. I have known similar cases all my life. It is a hateful arachetype I would gladly wipe out. These cockroaches with bad manners don’t have any excuse at all. THEY HAVE TO SAY HELLO, LIKE IT OR LUMP IT! Aren’t they very talkative? Me neither! . Aren’t they sociable? I have no interest in talking or making Friends. BUT I DO REQUIRE PEOPLE I MEET EVERY DAY TO SAY HELLO. JUST A HI, end of story.
I hate him so much that more than once I have daydreamed about removing the spring clip collars from the Olympic bar when he walks up and down the room oinking loudly like a pig so that when he performs his bench press the disk weights will fall down on his chest and break his ribs (I realize now that this daydream is useless because the disks are loaded on either end of the barbell, far from his chest. But it makes me feel good within). In this gamble of stubborn mules there is only one winner. A female. Me, of course. I am the greeting version of the Debt Collector in Top Hat and Tails and, believe me, I will manage to wring my hello out of this disgusting defaulter’s mouth. As sure as my name is Out-of-orbit.