Mama Peaches & Geraldine at the Gym
Sitting down on the hard bench, legs spread wide apart, Mama Peaches bent over to tie her gym shoes.
“Hey, Peaches,” Geraldine said, squeezing past Peaches, practically electric sliding over to a locker. She placed her tote bag on a bench and then stood straight to smooth out her clothes.
Mama Peaches sat up straight and turned to look over at her friend. Her head immediately reared back. “Geraldine,” she said in a high pitched, questioning voice.
“What?” Geraldine tilted her head at Mama Peaches.
She merely pointed at Geraldine.
“It’s cute ain’t it?” Geraldine’s giddy voice matched the shimmy in her hips as she spinned to model her outfit for Mama Peaches. “I got it from the thrift store.”
Peaches shook her head. “You stay missing the mark.”
“How so?” Geraldine’s thin, black drawn on eyebrow arched high in query.
Mama Peaches looked her up and down. “FILA on your shirt, Reebok, big and bold down those snug leggings you’re wearing, Adidas on your feet, Under Armour headband, knee-high Nike socks, looks like you were so focused on buying brands that you bought the whole alphabet of designers.”
Geraldine swatted at Mama Peaches. “I ain’t studying you.
“You should be, that outfit is more suited for a younger woman, not you.”
“I beg your pardon.” Geraldine spun around as fast as she could after she locked her locker.
“It’s too tight on you in all of the wrong places. Deen, the seat of those pants is clearly shaped like an upside-down heart, but your butt is shaped like an upside-down pear.”
“Oh Peaches, you stay hatin’ on me.”
“Hatin’? I’m tryna help ya,” Mama Peaches said getting up from the bench.
“Yes, I said hatin’.” Geraldine walked out of the locker cove they were in and over to a mirror. She leaned in as she twisted her wig so that the short bang aligned up just right across her forehead.
“Hatin’ ain’t it hunny.”
“So what I wasn’t blessed with a bedonkadonk like you, but the one I’ve had all of these years has suited me just fine. I have three ex-husbands to verify it too.” Geraldine pursed her lips.
“Sure that ain’t why they left?” Mama Peaches mumbled under her breath and chuckled as she stepped beside Geraldine to reapply her deep, burgundy lipstick.
Geraldine cut her eyes at Peaches. “I heard that. And don’t ever forget, I left them, they didn’t leave me. Besides, it’s October and I have what,” she held her dark, freckled right hand up to count her fingers and began mumbling, “the rest of this month, November, December, January, February, and oh March.” She spoke louder when her count was done. “I have a little under six months to get this booty firm and right.” She turned to look at her backside in the mirror.
“Deen, you’ll need more than six months to turn that pineapple into some passion fruit.” Mama Peaches tickled herself so she had to fan herself amidst her coughing spell.
Geraldine shook her head. “I will not be bothered with you Peaches. Like I said, I have enough time to get this body in shape for that bachelor auction you thought of to help raise funds to restore our community. Shoot, I plan on snatching me a bachelor too.” Geraldine said walking off with an extra pep in her steps.
Mama Peaches propped one hand on her lean hip and the other on the countertop next to her. She cocked her head staring at her friend.
“Before you think about snatching a man, you might wanna snatch that wig into place on your head.”
Geraldine hissed and flew back to the mirror as fast as she could to fix her lopsided wig.
“Deen, I’m certain that’s not how that machine works,” Mama Peaches said as she sat upright and pulled on the handles of the row machine she sat at.
“Hush, Peaches. I know exactly what I’m doing.” She winked at Mama Peaches before she cleared her throat and turned to face the man next to her. “Can you help me? I just don’t know how to work this silly thing,” she said in such a girlish voice that Mama Peaches leaned in to see if indeed it was Geraldine who had spoken.
“Sure.” The forty-something looking man stood, legs somewhat straddling Geraldine with his biceps bulging and pecs flexing as he guided her hands correctly over the handles of the seated bench press. “You have to grip them just right and then breathe through pushing forward, making sure you don’t lock your elbows when you extend your arms out.”
With him still braced in front of her, she followed his directions a few times over until he said, “I think you have the hang of it.”
“Yes, the hang of it,” she said as her eyes traveled south, just below his waist and lingered there before Mama Peaches hissed at her.
“Oh yes, I definitely have the hang of it.” She looked back up at him.
He flashed her an awkward smile before he grabbed his gym bag from the machine near hers and scurried off.
Mama Peaches shook her head at a giggling Geraldine. Soon Geraldine turned her head and asked the same question to the latest muscle-bulging man that occupied the machine next to hers.
It became clear to Mama Peaches after a while that her dear friend was purposefully misusing equipment as a ruse to engage the fine men around them.
Three men later and healthy eyefuls of all that God had blessed them with, Geraldine laid on her back sweaty, pretending like she was struggling with and trying to get the most recent guy to help her with the weight of the bench press hovering over her.
Blinded by her sweat, she only had the deep sound of a man’s voice to indicate he was her next prey.
“Need help there sexy momma?” He braced his headphones around his neck and turned off the Walkman hoisted on his waist.
“Yes.” She giggled as her arms voluntarily shook as she pressed the handles upward.
With his arms braced on her triceps, he stood behind her, helping her press up. “How many are you doing for each set?”
“I don’t know. How many should I do?” Her voice was girlish.
“For you, if you’re going lighter on the weights, I say twenty would be a good amount, but if you go heavier then maybe stop at twelve per set.”
“Oh, that’s good to know.” Geraldine relished in his firm hold on her arms. He had big hands too.
Mama Peaches stopped movement on her machine and simply stared at Geraldine. She wasn’t sure but she would bet the five-dollar bill in her purse that Geraldine couldn’t see the man’s face through the sweat drenching hers and obviously dripping in her eyes. She had an unobstructed view of the man and couldn’t wait for Geraldine to see what she was seeing. He was a sight to behold alright. She grabbed a Snickers from her fanny pack to enjoy the rest of the show.
“Whew. What was that, thirty-six times I did that?” Geraldine said with her eyes closed as the gentleman helped her sit upright.”
“Yup. Thirty-six perfect times. You’re a pro at this.”
“Let me get the sweat out of my eyes so I can stand up and properly thank you.” She smirked.
Mama Peaches fully turned her body to face Geraldine and bit into the last of her Snickers.
“Okay, but if it’s not too much to ask, may I have your number? I’d love if we can meet here more often. I can help you workout and maybe take you out soon? You know, on a date?”
The sweetness and deep tenor of his voice coursed through Geraldine with an exhilaration that had her rushing to wipe her face with the towel hanging from her fanny pack. When her face was free of sweat and she had smoothed what was left of her eyebrows back in place, she turned to look at him, but stumbled as her hand flew up to her chest.
“You alright?” He rushed to her and held on to her hoping to help her keep her balance. “ You know you have to stay hydrated when you work out and take your time when getting up, otherwise, you may get lightheaded like you just did.”
“Yeah, yeah, lightheaded, that’s it,” Geraldine stammered, talking as she stepped back from his embrace.
Peaches sat nearby, hand covering her mouth trying to quell her laughter.
Geraldine shot her a deathly glare before she looked back at the man in front of her. She was struggling to make sense of it all. She shook her head as if it would erase the past moments. “I’m sorry, but was that you just helping me on that there bench?” She placed her hand over her chest for support of her well-being.
“Yes,” he chuckled. “ I could see that you were sweating a lot, but I didn’t know you couldn’t see me at all.” He winced and braced his hand on his lower back. “I’ll be doing fine for a couple of days then old Arthur will show up again and try to shut me down. You know what I’m saying.”
“No, I don’t.” Geraldine straightened her back and her chin lifted high.
“You know Arthur, arthritis. I’m sure at your age he’s been paying you plenty of visits too.” He chuckled.
Geraldine looked him up and down, giving him a cold look that made him freeze even the smallest of movements he had going.
“You know what,” she said and tightened her lips as her eyes narrowed in on him. “I’mma go get that water you suggested.” She turned to walk away but his voice slowed her movements.
“But there’s a water bottle at your feet. I thought maybe we could go walk on the treadmills side by side, sort of act alike we’re taking a walk through the park and get to know one another better.”
Her head snapped back. “Water I said. I’m going to get water.” She kicked over the bottle at her feet as she rushed off into the locker room nearby.
“Excuse me,” Mama Peaches said snickering as discreetly as she could as she picked up Geraldine’s water bottle from the floor and then went in search of her friend.
“Geraldine. Geraldine. Where are you?” Mama Peaches said laughing as she passed two rows of lockers.
A dark hand snatched her into the folds of the third row of lockers.
“Deen,” Mama Peaches yelped, “what are you doing?”
“Shhhh. Don’t say my name out loud anymore. He may hear it. Is he behind you?” She slowly peeked her head out into the openness of the locker room.
“Deen, this is the women’s locker room. Why would he follow you in here?”
“I don’t know. You saw how sweet he was on me. Talking ‘bout can we walk on the treadmills together as if we’re walking through the park.” She turned to look at Mama Peaches.
“Peaches, the man thinks rubber and grass looks alike.” She popped the palm of her hand against her forehead as she shook her head. “The man ain’t too bright. She went and took a seat next to Mama Peaches on the bench.
“Deen, you didn’t come here to work out, you came here to get a man. The other ones you tried to snag dismissed you, but when a good one puts the moves on you, you blow him off? Sounds like you’re missing your own point to me.” Mama Peaches stood and unlocked her locker.
“Peaches, the other men were fine, virile, but that man, one who’s clearly best friends with Arthur ain’t my type.”
“And why not?”
“For one he insulted me saying I was friends with Arthur. I’m just as youthful and as in great health as I want to be.”
Peaches cocked her head. “So Arthur didn’t have you bedridden last summer for two weeks?”
Geraldine thought on it for a second. “Oh hush.” She waved off Mama Peaches.
Mama Peaches laughed as she took her tote bag from the locker and sat it on the bench behind her.
“And not only did he insult me, but Peaches, the man has no teeth.” She shuddered.
“I saw that.” Mama Peaches buckled over with laughter.
“I ain’t studying you Peaches.” She finally went to her locker and struggled to fit the key in it properly. She paused to share more with the cackling hen next to her. “But the nail in his coffin was that Walkman.”
Mama Peaches’ forehead wrinkled. “What’s wrong with him having a Walkman?”
Geraldine cocked her head in disbelief. “What do you mean what’s wrong with him still having a Walkman? That thang is ancient and had duck tape on it to keep it all together.”
Mama Peaches sniggered, remembering just how tattered the device looked on his hip.
Geraldine ignored Peaches’ antics and continued on. “He probably does everything the old way. Even make love the old way.”
“Peaches, don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about. Old married couples used to sleep in separate beds. You tell me how that was possible unless they was only doing it to make babies and not have any fun.”
Peaches just stared at her.
“You know I ain’t lying.” She finally unlocked her locker. “Ain’t no way they was doing the downward facing dog, sixty-nine, the tree lotus and all these other new moves and able to keep they hands off each other.” She pulled her bag from the locker and made her way towards the exit of the locker room. “Nope. I don’t want no old dog using old tricks. Gonna get me a new, young one with new tricks.”
“You ain’t getting none to be worried about any of that,” Mama Peaches said, close on her heels.
“You don’t know what I’m getting,” Geraldine tossed over her shoulder as she stepped back into the gym and was instantly greeted by the toothless man.
“Hey, got enough water in you now?”
Geraldine stepped back. He was too close to her for her liking.
“I was hoping I could catch you when you came back out. I’d really like to get your digits and take you out some time.”
Trying to calculate her thoughts, Geraldine just stared at him.
Hoping to seal the deal with her, he leaned in and said, “And if you’re worried about me not having any teeth, don’t. I have a set in my gym bag. I took em’ out when I saw the fine fox that you are.”
Her face scrunched.
“I just wanted you to see that my mouth works wonders without them if you know what I mean.”
She jerked back as she gasped. She turned to face Mama Peaches and through clenched teeth said, “Peaches, let’s go now.” She brushed past him and took quick steps to get out of his view and out of the gym.
Mama Peaches had heard everything he said and had to hold on to one machine after another as her laughter crippled her so that she staggered out of the gym.