we’ve joined a new gym. it has a very different vibe than the last place. i will miss the people i know. the ones who go into the locker room looking as primped as when they come out. those whose daily fashion choices i have rather enjoyed editorializing in my own head. i have heard the eighties look is making a comeback.
this new place is more a gym and less a club. it suits our purpose just as well. the truth about gyms is that the best stories often happen in the locker room.
i walk in after a fine workout to find a woman, probably in her mid seventies wearing only a towel. on her head. of course my locker is behind where she has set herself up. she has a couple of canes on the bench. several bags filled with what look to be her swimming costume. a couple of other bags of who knows what. she made a move to shimmy her stuff out of my way. “no no it’s fine, i can work around you.” she ignores my offer an continues to reposition her things. still naked. but for the towel….on her head.
i’m not sure how others handle situations that are less than ideal. i fill it with banter. “oh good” i say, “you can keep count of how many tries it takes me to open my combination lock.” “oh, is it broken?” she asks “No, operator error”, i reply. She seems to find me amusing. still naked. i’m wondering if it would be strange if i should offer to help her get her bra on. this thought is interrupted by her friend rounding the corner. also partially clothed. i’m now bare assed with my naked lower half pressed against the cement block wall. trying to slip on some draws without making these probable great grandmothers witness a full on beaver shot. not for myself, but rather their own protection.
somehow the subject turns to languages. we are joined by another partially clad person in her seventies. i’m part of this post swim klatch. me, the monkey with the tattoos. them with their soft looking papery thin skin and beautifully graying hair. we all talking about swearing in foreign languages. well more to the point speaking in a foreign language in a way that makes others think you are swearing. “du bist ein papierkorb.” “you are a trashcan”. has long been a favorite of mine. friend number two told a story of her husband teaching their children to call bullies cabbage heads at school.
i’ve gotten myself descent….ok i mean clothed. i told the sweeties to be careful as it was snowing that day and took my leave.
as i made my way to my car, i found myself wondering what the conversation turned to as soon as the locker room door closed behind me.
i can’t begin to imagineE