Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Allez-vous en, monsieur

I just love Cole Porter, don't you? He wrote beautiful songs, full of double entendres, lilting imagery and luxurious emotions. Somehow, popular music just doesn't measure up today.

It's still raining here, which means I still feel like thirty miles of bad road. I'm tired of hurting. Tired of not being able to do anything concrete or lasting about it. Tired of having to explain why I'm hurting and what's wrong with me and why it's wrong with me all of the time. Tired of whining. Whine, whine, whine.

Sorry for that much-needed moment of self-indulgence. Now, back to your regularly-scheduled blog.

After work yesterday, I headed for the small-town YMCA (not to be confused with the just-around-the-corner-from-the-house YMCA) to swim. The pool here is indoors, and there are other amenities, such as a steam room, sauna and hot tub. I'm thinking on the 13th consecutive rainy day, this is just what I need.

I changed into my nifty swimsuit and headed for the hot tub. Thankfully, it was completely unoccupied. I turned it on and climbed in, savoring the soothing water. After hobbling around for most of the afternoon, it was real bliss. Alas, it was not to last. I looked across the deck as the door to the steam room opened. Out walked a middle-aged man who, let's say, had kind of started to let himself go. He was sweaty and tattooed. And naturally, he headed straight for the tub.

Ugh. It would have been rude to climb out the moment he got in, but as I sat there, all kinds of involuntary thoughts came into my mind, most of them running along the lines of "boiled sweaty tattooed man soup." I tried not to freak out completely, but it was a tough stall. Fortunately, the timer shut the tub off just as I reached the point where I couldn't take any more. I scampered out of the tub and grabbed my towel, turned the timer back and headed for the sauna and hopefully, a little super-heated solitude.

Rats. I flung open the door and was cheerily greeted by a lone man with a couple of gold chains, a Maori fishhook necklace and at least as many tattoos as Sweaty-Soup Man had. Darn my southern upbringing! I couldn't turn tail and run--that would be rude. I sat down, praying he wouldn't attempt conversation. Of all the prayers in my life that have been answered, this would be the one that came back stamped with a flaming red "REJECTED."

I tried to keep my answers to his mostly harmless questions monosyllabic, but he kept talking. Oh man, he just kept talking. Fortunately, fair-skinned redheaded people have a short time-limit for saunas, so in less than 10 minutes, I was completely done. I scooted out and dove into the deep end and began swimming laps, to ensure NO ONE ELSE would try and talk. It worked, and I swam for a pleasant, uninterrupted half hour.

Heavy sigh. I don't dispute the right of Sweaty-Soup Man and Gold Chain Guy to use the tub and sauna, but I am just not comfortable using them at the same time. I consider those locations to be pretty private, and look at them as a respite from having to make conversation with strangers. I just can't understand the impetus to speak to people I don't know while sitting in a pool of foamy water wearing only a swimsuit.

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