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February 21, 2024
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Virtual Imagery That Would Actually Make Me Run Faster on the Elliptical

The doors of the airport-shuttle train are closing, and I start to book it, clunky luggage in tow, even though these trains run, like, every three minutes and I am a sociopathic three hours early for a domestic flight.

My work crush, Hot Silent Brian from business affairs, watches me run, and the faster I go the more it looks as if he’s about to say something, anything, to me. He never does.

If I run a mile in under ten minutes, my therapist appears and tells me that I’m her favorite patient and she wishes I were her daughter.

I’m being chased by a lion!

I’m being chased by a shark!

I’m being chased by the ghost of my sixteen-year-old self, who’s yelling at me about whatever happened to all her hopes and dreams?

I’m running a quick errand at CVS, and I spot a former high-school classmate, whom I haven’t spoken to in years but would definitely have to say hi to if I made eye contact, and I’m not wearing makeup or a bra, and I have a huge zit on my chin, and, honestly, I’ve had a rough couple of months and just don’t have it in me right now to make small talk and pretend things are going great, when I’m just here to pick up tampons.

My onscreen avatar is carrying a laptop and it is just beginning to rain. Also, she’s wearing suede.

It’s the first of the month and a rent check from a generous, anonymous benefactor dangles on a string, always just out of my reach.

I snatch a golden idol from a pedestal in an ancient temple, and, as I smirk, thinking how easy that was, rocks fall from the ceiling. The roof is going to collapse! I sprint down a corridor, idol in hand, while arrows shoot from the walls, each a near miss. My colleague’s there, waiting for me, telling me to give him the statue first and then he’ll help me across the pit that gapes between us—but he betrays me, stealing the statue and leaving me to die. I leap over the pit, slide under a closing stone door, and BAM, there’s my colleague, dead. Arrows got him. I recover the statue, pausing for a moment to catch my breath, maybe wipe the sweat off my brow with a lemongrass-scented towelette, but there’s no time! A massive boulder comes rolling down out of nowhere, and if I don’t keep running, I will be crushed!

My loved ones smile and wave at me from onscreen, and, if I don’t keep my heart rate above 120 B.P.M., I will be forced to watch their execution in unbelievably graphic C.G.I. imagery.

Food Network reruns.

Click Here to Visit Orignal Source of Article https://www.newyorker.com/humor/daily-shouts/virtual-imagery-that-would-actually-make-me-run-faster-on-the-elliptical

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