She is old and every inch of her

is covered up against the

freezing cold.

I can see her here from upstairs

on my Stairmaster as I start at 1.5 and

start to work my way up.

She has an old metal cart with big wheels and

she patiently places one piece of cardboard

after another into the cart.

I hit the button up to 2.5 and think about

how I need to get more

distribution on my books. She puts another

bit of cardboard in the cart.

I am on Face Book and Twitter and should get

stuff on Pinterest and Tumblr and Share.

More cardboard goes in.

Also; Kindle, Biz Sugar and Aviary Capture and what the hell is that

anyway?

I push the number up to 3.5 and the disco music

next door is just blaring in the dancercise class. I can hear the thump, thump of the women bouncing, clapping and shouting.

She disappears and comes back with more cardboard.

The problem is  the stock market and

then the interest on these damn credit cards.

She places more cardboard in the cart.

I am thinking about having my eyes done.

I need more Botox, Jesus, what’s that guy going to charge me this time?  Hair color; need another box of hair color.

She places more cardboard in and I punch the numbers up to 5.0 and

I am moving now. The pounding next door seems louder and I increase the speed to 6.0. 

“You know,” he tells me, smiling, “you would be pretty if you just weren’t so old!”

Got to get these pounds off, they really show up on my chin and age me so much. Faster on the treadmill.

“Mom, I need some money. I can’t make my rent.”

“I don’t have it darling. I have to buy plane tickets. I’m sorry.”

‘Ok, I understand,” she says dully.

Slowly, she puts more cardboard in the cart. “When the hell is she going to be done?” I think.

“You know, it is really too bad you have to work in a place like that,” my friend says. “If you would get a job in a good place, I would come visit you.”

I am really starting to work up a sweat.

 “That school you work for isn’t very high level,” the teacher tells me.

“It’s my first University job.”

“It just isn’t a very good school.”

I am flying on the treadmill now.

“I have published several books.”

“But who reads them?” asks my coworker.

“I have readership.”

“Yeah.”

I get off the treadmill to go join all the other middle-aged ladies bouncing and screaming in the gym.

I feel sorry for the old lady gathering her cardboard; it must be tough working out on the street on a day like this.