Setting: 24 Hour Fitness.
Time: Early evening, following the conclusion of the standard workday.
The gym is about half full. The different sections are dioramas of stereotypes. Beefy muscle heads stride around the weight section, middle-aged moms power-walk on the treadmills, and skinny blonds with tight pony-tails stretch against the walls, texting with one hand and talking loudly to each other about “that guuuuy”.
Plugging stoically away on an elliptical is Jessica Bagley. She is a study in awkwardness. Her hair is too short to pull back, but too long to avoid getting in her eyes. Her exercise pants catch under her shoes and drag on the ground, and she has a perpetual wedgie. She is sweating profusely.
As she glances down at the clock on the machine, she heaves a sigh. As she contemplates stopping, two figures appear in a puff of smoke, casually watching her progress. The first is lean, with bright eyes and muscular arms. The second slouches emphatically, her belly bulging out from underneath an ill-fitting shirt. This second figure is munching away on an eclair that she has seemingly pulled from nowhere.
Fitness: Ah! This, this is vhat I haff been talkink about! The sveat! The breathink! Ve are vorking now!
Laziness: Auugh. (eats an eclair.) Are we done yet?
Fitness: Done? Ve haff only been runnink for…vhat? Two minutes? Three, mebbe.
Laziness: TWELVE. TWELVE MINUTES. (eats a sausage.) I’ve been watching the thingy.
Fitness: The thingy? Vhat thingy?
Laziness: I’unno. (eats a parfait.) The time thingy.
Fitness: Vell, vhat matters the time? Nothink! Ve vork until ve cannot vork any more! Ve vork until blood dries up! Until our legs fall off.
Laziness: Wait. (eats onion rings.) You said we only had to go half an hour.
Fitness: Half an hour is startink point. Ve go mebbe half hour, mebbe more. Mebbe whole hour. Mebbe two! Ve go until ve can go no longer!
Laziness: You said we only had to go for half an hour.
Fitness: Eh, I thought this, at first, but ve are not tired enough! Ve must end vorkout feeling drained. Can ve valk? Yes? Ve did not vork hard enough!!
Laziness: But we’re already tired.
Fitness: Not tired enough!
Laziness: We can’t goooo anymooooore.
Fitness: Just seventeen more minutes! Soon, ve increase the resistance!
Laziness: But we caaaaaaaaaaan’t. Our legs are tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiired.
Fitness: Ve can do better!
Laziness: Our kneeeeeeeeeeeeees hurt. We’re out of breath. This is awful. I haaaaaaaate it.
Fitness: Is good, though! Five months of this, and ve vill really see results.
Laziness: This sucks. (eats guacamole.) I don’t want results anymore.
Frugality: (appears in a blaze of hellfire, silhouetted against the wall with eyes like coal and a voice like shattering glass.) WE PAID FOR RESULTS. WE ARE GETTING SOME GODDAMN RESULTS. STOP YOUR WHINING AND MOVE YOUR FEET FOR ANOTHER SIXTEEN MINUTES. IF YOU DON’T SO HELP ME GOD I WILL-
Laziness: Fiiine. JESUS.
Fitness: She always agrees with me.
Laziness: Shut up. (eats a truffle.) I hate you.