To the Westview Track Runners Who Wrote About Obesity and Judgment,

Hey guys, I read your Facebook posts to each other about losing weight, and fitness, and conspicuous stabs at Internet celebrity. Great stuff. Listen, I think both of you fighting in your own way for the cause of human health is important but I’m a shocked and a little appalled that in your viral open letters to one another, you were so caught up in your own agendas that you literally trampled all over the biggest injustice of all: specifically the track and field maintenance worker who waves at you every day and you never wave back.  

I know you like to run with your head down or while staring holes into fat folks, respectively, but if you took a moment to look around every once in awhile you might notice the world is bigger than just the two of you. For instance, you might notice the broken stadium lights over the south stands were fixed, or that we added a steeple chase hurdle and water pit in the third and fourth lane, or that the field is freshly painted whether there’s a junior league soccer game this weekend or not. But I guess you both just assumed those things happen on their own, that the track is some kind of island outside of the rest of human existence where everyone has as many vacation days as they want, and Claritin works the same for all allergies and where the only hurdles in life are the literal ones.

This is an issue that has been plaguing privately owned parks and facilities for years and goddamn it, shame on you for thinking your problems are more important. Or maybe you’ve already judged me. Maybe you’re True Detective fans and you’ve already made up your mind about the maintenance man who occasionally finishes up late in the evening (with no overtime) and yes, sometimes watches the pee-wee league scrimmage because he has a deep love of sport and an appreciation for childhood whimsy.

I’ve been waving at you two and everyone else out there since I started working on the track and it’s like I’m a ghost out there. Like I’m not even a human. How about a little goddamn etiquette for the man who keeps your track in tip-top shape? For too long the maintenance man has been completely ignored, and the stereotypes the media has created are only making things worse. We are all people here and we all want the same things: A little acknowledgement and to write letters about bandwagon, hot-button issues the Internet loves to be mad about so that we can build our own social cache. So maybe just pretend I said something vaguely inspiring about gay rights or Jezebel or something to really ensure this goes big.  

And the next time you’re out there jogging along and silently hating one another, how about looking at my damn hand as it extends to you a common courtesy and then allowing yours to do the same? Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to figure out how to remove this spray painted swastika by the long jump pit because some of us still believe in equality for all.


Hartley (the maintenance guy)