Noting that no one was in the room except for a skinny kid who was putting something in a gym bag, Chase headed toward the heavy bag in the corner. Removing his suit jacket and abruptly throwing it on a nearby chair, he roughly loosened his tie, slowly rolled up his sleeves in a trance-like state as anger slithered up from deep, inside him. He grabbed the first pair of boxing gloves he could find and felt the fury slide through every inch of his body to his fingertips. Rather than to wrap his hands, he just slid them into the red gloves, noting the famous name brand in large print across the wrist, he continued to feel a rage quickening the beat of his heart. Without a second thought, he started to pummel the bag with all the ferocity that ran through his body.
The anger roared through him like a lit match gingerly falling into a drop of gasoline; explosive and furious, he felt his body temperature rise and stopped briefly to remove the gloves, throwing them to the ground. Glancing around, he saw no one else in the room; not that it would’ve mattered. Pulling his tie apart, he threw it on top of his blazer, followed by his shirt. Underneath he wore what Kelsey referred to as a ‘wife beater’; a term he had never appreciated and picked up the gloves again.
Closing his eyes, he had a moment of complete peace that seemed to lift him from the ground, almost allowing him to float across the room. But this moment of calmness didn’t last and was quickly followed by an intense wave of anger that sprung from places he hadn’t thought about in years; the times his mother slapped him across the face in a drunken rage, tears running down his face, while his father sat quietly nearby, neither condoning her or defending his son, something that was more confusing than if he had taken a side. How many times had that happened and why had it seemed to be easier and easier for his mother to do each time, eventually showing no signs of remorse over her actions?
He feared her being around his sons but when he explained why to Audrey, she had acted as though he exaggerated and that his mother would never hit her grandchildren. Claiming to be an expert in psychology, she had diminished his concerns as if he were a hysterical man, exaggerating the facts. As usual, he was treated as if he were valueless and irrelevant. Once again, he was belittled, this time in front of his three children, as she laughed and told him to stop being a pussy.
He hadn’t even realized he was hitting the heavy bag again until a gasp from behind pulled him from his blind rage, as he turned to see a young woman wearing glasses and an unflattening workout ensemble entered the room. He laughed in spite of himself while she appeared almost frightened as the trainer from upstairs followed her down the stairs, only appearing slightly alarmed by the sweating man, wearing a business wear from the waist down, and a sweat filled muscle shirt on his upper body. He was tempted to rip it off but thought that might come across more dramatic than intended but after noticing the glasses lady’s look of disapproval, he shot her an angry look and just did that; grabbing the thin material with the claw-like gloves, he ripped it off, tossing it in the corner and made his way back to the heavy bag.
The next round was hardly subtle and rather than tiring out, he instead seemed to be increasing his vigor and fury, as thoughts of his ex-wife disappeared and were replaced by Maggie; how hard had he tried to be her friend, even after she left? He had even avoided her sister when she asked, distancing himself from her both physically and mentally, only to be discarded, rather than allowed to know her vulnerable, most personal secrets? Hadn’t he told her all of his? Wasn’t that what women claim to want? Men to be vulnerable and honest and yet, when they were, it seemed to almost repel them, as if it were unnatural unless you were on a movie screen.
Then there was Kelsey. This thought made him halt his movement as sadness filled him. He had tried to help her. He had tried to stop her from making a huge mistake, writing it off with no judgment as being an impulsive and inexperienced move, attempting to help her move on with her life and get a fair shake. Yet, she only went back to Bud and made a movie - or movies, he wasn’t even sure how many were out there? Who had she done them with? It made him as sad as it made him angry. He felt a flood of sadness overrun the anger and for a minute, he thought tears would take over where the anger had so abruptly ended, but they didn’t. Instead, he felt a calmness return, as he looked across the now, empty room.
Removing the gloves, his hands stiff, he gingerly returning them to where they gathered in a collection, he calmly walked back to his ripped muscle shirt and picked it up, followed by the rest of his clothes and headed toward the locker room, where he, fortunately, had some soap, deodorant, and a towel. It wasn’t until he was in the shower and the hot water was pounding against his skin that he felt weak as if his emotional morning had drained every fiber of his strength, as it ran off his body and down the drain. He felt nothing; no anger, no sadness, just nothing.