by Vincent Ternida
Vancouver, BC 

I was happy with the squeaky treadmill at the gym. It was perfect in every way but it made tiny squeaks when I went hard. I didn't mind them, I found it endearing even. That was until the new treadmill was brought in, it had all the bells and whistles—a perfect model in every way. When I rode it, it made no squeaks at first, it told me what I needed to work on, it listened to my hopes and dreams. Then it became demanding, it became moody and stopped in the middle of my workout. It would take other guests who were not me, but I didn't mind, it was not my property. Then one day it stopped responding to anything I did, but would work for the other guests. I complained and management moved it to the elite area of the gym, leaving me heartbroken. I returned to the old squeaky treadmill, which was perfect in every single way. However this time around, the squeak was much louder, more irritating, oh how I wished for it to just break down.

--- We take the little things for granted in life when we have it aplenty. This quarantine, I've appreciated the little things and I laugh at the small things that took up our good energy back in the times before quarantine.

Vincent Ternida’s short stories, poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in several anthologies including Voice and Verse: Poetry Magazine, Immersion: An Anthology Asian Anthology of Love, Fantasy and Science Fiction, Write To Move Anthology, First Page Literature, Ricepaper Magazine and Seagery Zine. His short story "Elevator Lady" was long listed for the CBC Short Fiction Prize on 2019. During this quarantine, Vincent Ternida's opinion pieces about video games could be read at One More Game ( keeping him distracted while he works on his next long form piece.

Social Distanziner - Toronto, ON