The parking garage at my gym has this weird design where we have to drive on the left side instead of the right. This seemingly pointless British blueprint makes it somewhat difficult to park in the already tight spaces. I often have to back in-and-out a couple times so that I don’t scrape my car or knock a mirror against a concrete pillar. It’s all very obnoxious.
One day, while following a Jaguar up the ramp to the next level, I saw some open spaces ahead. As expected, the Jaguar opted for the first open spot. But as unexpected, he deemed it necessary to back in rather than just pull forward. Because of this, I, the car behind me, and now the car on the other side… all had to wait for him to make his many extra adjustments so that he may park his car this way.
I normally get slightly enraged when I get behind the wheel anyway. Then when someone inconveniences others in order to make something slightly more convenient for themselves, it just makes my brain want to explode. So the longer we all sat waiting for this guy to park his schmancy machine in this unwarrantedly special way, the more I began to roll my eyes and shoot the driver dirty looks - hoping he’d see them.
Once he finally parked and hopped out, I saw that Jaguar himself was a guy I had noticed dozens of times at the gym before. He was cute - maybe slightly younger than me, blond and short with a tight little body. His boyfriend had a similar build but with a different ethnicity. Our small gym has a strong social vibe and the two of them always seemed quite friendly with others. So somewhere in the back of my head, I had imagined I might befriend them at some point too.
However now, by the way Jaguar (the guy) looked at me as he walked from his car, I could tell I had blown my chance at a good first impression. Clearly he saw the many eye rollings and dirty glares I had wanted him to see. This felt awkward, but in an effort to not be bothered by any of it, I told myself that little saying we all do from time-to-time. Whatever. I don’t give a fuck.
We grow up spewing this kind of rhetoric as teenagers, and as adults, it oddly never seems to really leave us. I see it all the time on social media in it’s classic form as well as the now more modern and trendy “no fucks given.” It’s the ironic lie that we use to convince ourselves (and everyone else) that something REALLY MOST DEFINITELY does NOT bother us.
Of course we give fucks though - especially on social media. If we didn’t, then we wouldn’t need to make such a bold statement about it in the first place. We also wouldn’t need to take twenty selfies and then narrow it down to five, then down to one, then choose a filter and then try to think of a witty comment and an even wittier hashtag to go along with it.
In the end, if something truly didn’t bother us, a mere shrug would suffice. We could just simply go back to wondering what a “torta” is and why we should totally eat it after we drive by that random Mexican restaurant (you know it’s authentic because it looks sketchy).
After seeing Jaguar a few more times at the gym, I began to feel bad about the dirty looks I dished up at him. I don’t like responding to negative energy with more negative energy. Responding to a douche by acting like a douche does not undouche the situation - it just makes it douchier. That’s, like, Quantum Theory or something. *twirls hair*
Anyway, the point is I began to realize that I did, in fact, give a fuck about what this guy thought. But in my last ten years of living vulnerably, I’ve learned that this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Caring about what folks think often just means being conscientious. And if more people acted with conscience, then the world would look like quite the different place.
Thus I wanted a second chance with Jaguar. I wanted him to know that I wasn’t such a bad guy after all. So as I continued to see him at the gym, I’d do whatever I could for him to notice my delightful and easy-going nature. If I caught him looking in my direction, I’d offer up a small, friendly and polite smile. If we both went for the water fountain at the same time, I’d step back and offer it to him first. If we bumped into each other while going into the locker room when the other came out, I’d cheerfully excuse myself and bid him a great day.
Although none of this really worked. He wouldn’t ever smile back. He didn’t thank me for letting him have that first sip of water. He didn’t bid me a good day in return. Jaguar didn’t seem to have any problem getting chummy with some of the other gym-goers. So why not me?
When a friend briefly worked at the gym, he secretly informed me that he and Jaguar had recently hooked up off of Grindr.
“Oh?” I said, surprised. “I didn’t know he and his boyfriend had an open relationship.”
“Apparently they don’t,” my friend said. “He admitted that he’s cheating on him.”
I actually found this information rather uninteresting. In truth, I get so bored with how bad gay guys (and humans in general) are at monogamy that I don't find the concept of “cheating” all that juicy. Everyone cheats on everyone. It seems the norm.
However I started to wonder if I could somehow use this information as a way to get Jaguar to like me. Maybe if I told him that I knew his dirty little secrets, he’d think of me as this totally awesome guy who doesn’t narc or gossip. However I had to retract this thought as soon as possible. It would have totally been emotional blackmail - the method of a sociopath (of which I am not - kind of).
On a recent day while working out my back, I wanted to do some pull-ups on the rack that hung between the two cable systems. This set-up offers plenty of room so that people can use both comfortably without accidentally touching each other (heaven forbid). Jaguar had been using one of the cables and seeing as how we had enough space, I jumped in and started doing my pull-ups.
The moment Jaguar noticed me hanging behind him, he immediately stopped his cable bicep curl and stomped off, letting out a loud scoff. It sounded like a parrot had just been punched in the stomach. With its unavoidable volume, it seemed clear that Jaguar wanted me to hear how much I displeased him.
A short while later, he walked off the gym floor and headed back towards the locker room. Seeing as how he didn’t put back several of the weights he had been using, I imagined that he intended to come back. But as I quickly wrapped up my own work out, I found him undressing and getting ready to go in the steam room. I also love a post workout steam so I planned on heading there myself.
In the steam room, Jaguar and I sat, alone, across from one another. He wore his towel high up and tightly around his waist. I barely wore mine at all, leaving it undone with just a small flap hanging over my junk. This was how I usually sat in there. In a gender specific steam room like this, I generally try to remain as least covered as possible.
I realized I had a golden opportunity here. If I couldn't get him to like me by being polite and if I couldn’t even try by emotionally blackmailing him, then I could at least get him to like me by using my body. I know. This sounds a fair bit shitty and shallow. Plus I hate it when the ONLY thing people like about me is my body. But desperate times call for desperate measures.
Therefore I began striking-a-pose while slowly (aka sensually) massaging my pecs and arms while keeping Jaguar in my peripheral. He didn’t once glance over. So of course I had to take my rolfing hands down to my inner thighs. Still nothing. Finally I just decided FUCK IT, I’ll just get naked. That’ll be extreme enough to get his attention. And if he isn’t faithful to his boyfriend, then he’ll be into it. Right?
I took the piece of towel that covered my crotch and lifted it up to wipe the sweat from my forehead. I then tossed it aside now leaving myself fully exposed. Not only did Jaguar NOT look at me, but he began turning his whole self away from me. I clearly had made him uncomfortable as he now sat facing the wall. A moment later, he got up and just walked out.
There I remained… naked, alone and totally pathetic. What the hell was I doing? Had I just tried to seduce him? Did I try to get him to further cheat on his boyfriend in hopes to get a little validation - the kind of validation I don’t even like? The time had come to officially end this ridiculousness. I was acting exactly how I described above: desperate. Jaguar didn't like me. End of story. And I had to be okay with it.
In a culture where we constantly try to convince ourselves (and everyone else) that we don’t give a fuck, it becomes difficult to tell not only when we do give a fuck, but when we actually give too many. Also when we give fucks so blindly, we start to not only lose sight of the bigger picture, but we lose sight of ourselves.
I hopped out of the shower just as Jaguar gathered his final things and left the locker room. I noticed a few more ways that he’d further insult my injury. He left his wet towels on the floor rather than putting them in the bin where they’re supposed to go. And he left his locker door sitting wide open.
I finally realized that Jaguar was actually kind of a twat. He made everyone wait while he parked. He couldn’t share space or pick up his equipment off the gym floor. He didn’t stay faithful to his boyfriend. And he wouldn’t even pick up his towels or be bothered to close a fucking door. In an effort to get him to hold me in some kind of high regard, I barely noticed all the ways that he only really regarded himself. This all made me feel even worse about giving so many fucks.
Sometime later, my friend, who briefly worked at the gym, texted (with an eye rolling emoji) to tell me how Jaguar was still pursuing him. He not only wanted more hook-ups, but he wanted something a bit more emotional too. The more my friend tried to shut this down, the more Jaguar pursued him. Jaguar might have been a twat, but he was a twat that pursued my friend with a similar desire for validation that I pursued him. This is human nature. And it doesn’t matter how good or bad we are, we all do it in some form or another.
I still continue to see Jaguar at the gym, but now I truly don’t care whether he likes me or not. Though with every sighting, I smile inwardly to myself with a little reminder. It’s okay to give fucks. Just be aware of how and why you give them. Also try to save your best fucksgivings for those who would give a fuck about you. And always try your best to not give too many. Rarely can much good come of that.
Edited by Glen Trupp
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