I’ve worked out most of my life. Swimming laps and spending time on the treadmill are not things I enjoy. As I often tell the folks at the front desk of the health club where I spend time each week, the best part about being there is leaving. Because, I feel good when I’m done.
As you might expect, my gym has a locker room where I shower and dress. It has always been my understanding that this was a sanctuary, of sorts. But sometimes, not so much.
Before I get to my biggest gripe about the locker room, let’s talk about the parents that bring their children into that inner sanctum. As sometimes not-so-wee children stare at me during my post-shower dry off, I want to say, “Ma’am, I hope your offspring will not be permanently damaged and perhaps in need of psychological counseling after gazing upon my nakedness. After all, I’ve past six decades and well, as you can see …”
Generally, my mind stops at that point, realizing that such a parent would, no doubt, ignore me or spout some piffle about protecting her kids from stranger-danger. There is, after all, a child care center at my health club. So, it’s not as if they have no options. The good news is there is now a sign posted asking parents to refrain from dragging their progeny into the locker rooms and most parents actually take heed.
The other problem is the abundance of mirrors. We older naked folks generally try not to look at our reflections as we move to our lockers. We know better than to gaze too long in that brightly-lit environment. The problem emanates from young women, many of whom have decided the locker room is the perfect spot to take rear-end selfies. The first time I watched a twenty-something posing between two mirrors, turning her backside this way and that, snapping picture after picture, I was bemused. I surreptitiously watched her, amazed at the number of photos she was taking and the contortions she subjected her body to. It seems selfies are a lot of work.
Recently, yet another young woman posed between the mirrors clicking away. I assumed she planned to post the pics on social media. Then I wondered what said selfies might say about her. Would men want to date her? Or would they flee in fear that her self-absorption might envelop them.
I paused and then, with clear intentions, walked my almost 64-year-old naked self between her and the back mirror. I pictured her aghast as she swiped though her pics later on. I wanted to say, “You know, someday, you’ll look just like me.”
But I didn’t. I think she’ll get the point.
Blank Slate Press/Amphorae Publishing Group
Price: $16.95 Paperback, $9.99 eBook
As a Vietnam veteran and former Special Forces sniper descends into the throes of mental illness, he latches onto a lonely pregnant teenager and a group of Pentecostal zealots – the Children of Light – who have been waiting over thirty years in the Arizona desert for Armageddon. When the Amtrak Sunset Limited, a passenger train en route to Los Angeles, is derailed in their midst in a deadly act of sabotage, their lives are thrown into turmoil. As the search for the saboteurs heats up, the authorities uncover more questions than answers. And then the girl vanishes. As the sniper struggles to maintain his sanity, a child is about to be born in the wilderness.