I’m only back on Medium cos Knittel offered me a reacharound

I’m a Racist Twat

And so are you, you fucker

Frank T Bird

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I’m at my local gym which happens to also be a so-called YMCA.

If you don’t know what the fuck that is, it’s the Young Man’s Christian Association. I’ve only been to two YMCAs in my life. I worked at the YMCA in Prescott, Liverpool, in 1994 with my mate Tony with the fake tan and the muscles and the black afro and handlebar moustache and the general Turkish vibe.

This is the second YMCA I’ve visited. And yeah, I know it’s an odd name for a gym. There aren’t too many young Christian men in this place, I can tell ya — unless maybe they’re all out the back getting sexually abused by the staff. I don’t know.

Maybe not.

Maybe they’re all down the street dressed as paramedics and dancing at the Blue Oyster Club and singing about how it’s fun to stay at this gym n that.

So no young Christian men — I don’t think. Sorry to disappoint you.

It feels like this gym is filled almost entirely with seventy-year-old Asian men who have bodies like Jean Claude Van Der Beek.

And no, that’s not even the racist bit.

I used to lift a lot like those Asian blokes, but I started swelling up until I looked like fucking Dwayne Johnson. I attracted too much attention from men and women alike and I sought out the Ronaldo physique instead. So I began to focus on push-ups and running a lot.

I finish my twenty-minute stint of jogging on the treadmill like Pamela Anderson, watching my man boobs jiggle up and down in the mirror in slow motion and wondering if I should start wearing a tight red bikini and carrying one of those plastic Johnnys that help one float on the salty ocean of life.

Overall, it was a good session except for the blister on my right foot, which is stinging like a mild herpes sore bathed in piss.

I walk across the club, one bead of sweat dripping from the left upper quadrant of my forehead like a clear salty Harrison Ford getting pursued across the crocodile plains by that Tommy Lee from Motley Crue.

Yer hear what I’m layin’ down here, Mork?

And I spot a nicely ripped black man. He’s the only black man I’ve ever seen in this place. And he used to be quite fat. So I nod at him and smile. I take out one of my EarPods, and I tell him,

You’re looking great, Man.

And I mean it. He must have lost at least ten or fifteen kegs. But it’s no surprise. He’s here every morning at six am, I reckon.

He smiles and says, thanks and I keep walking and mentally congratulate myself for being nice to a black person.

You’re really not a racist, I say subconsciously.

And I mean it. I’m truly going places, like Elon Musk or J-Lo or Warren all-you-can-eat Buffet.

I open my bum bag, put away my EarPods and get out my car keys — my usual post-gym routine. And that’s when I see him.

It’s the fat black man — the one I thought had lost all the weight. He’s working out on the last machine near the door.

So I spin around and look back to make sure I’m not imagining that there could be more than one black person in this gym.

And I see them both working out.

And there, among the ripped seventy-year-old Asian gentlemen and the two black men, and a few others that I will omit for the sake of the story, I once again realise the inherent legacy that has become the bricks and mortar of my personality thanks to my parents, teachers, and growing up in a racist white working-class culture in the north of England.

And I acknowledge the sacredness of childhood and the huge responsibility of all the damn parents in this world and the mostly undeserved power they have to create the basic personality of the next generation of humans.

It’s no wonder we’re fucked

It’s not your fault

Because what parents teach their children doesn’t just become a belief system, it becomes the very foundation that their personality is built on.

So ya better get it fucking right, you pricks — if you’re a parent I mean. Don’t be a fuck knuckle. Give them a chance for fuck’s sake.

And for those of us, now left to deal with the fallout of our childhoods, remember:

  • It’s not about what’s there.
  • It’s not about what comes into this damn Granny Smith head.
  • It’s not about the thoughts. They aren’t you.

It’s about what you do in their presence.

You can’t control your reaction. But you can control your reaction to your reaction.

That’s where freedom is found.

I whisper to myself,

Back to the drawing board, Frank, you racist twat.

The space-age glass gym doors open by themselves, and once again, I’m faced with this strange, empty world.

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