I’d written the funniest, wittiest post ever. You all would have died laughing.
But I never saved it and it’s gone forever. No point in trying to rewrite it, I’ll never be able to recapture the moment.
You’ll just have to imagine the most perfectly written essay ever… and give me credit for it.
Instead, let me tell you about my first trips back to the gym.
It really isn’t a gym, it’s one of those classic old fashioned men’s clubs. The locker room is mahogany; the lounge is filled with beautiful leather furniture, which is as much about practicality as it is aesthetics. It’s not at all uncommon to see a 65-year-old man, reading the Wall Street Journal, smoking a cigar, lounging on the couch, naked. Imagine bare asses on cloth. It wouldn't work.
Naked was the way everything there was for decades. It only went coed about 15 years ago. Before then, no clothes.
I’d seen the bare asses of some of this city’s movers and shakers poking out of the surface of the swimming pool, much like the tops of humpback whales in the ocean. I looked away before seeing the blow holes.
Heat room, naked; steam room, naked; sitting around reading the paper area, naked; no need for a towel during massages.
Go up a floor to the courts, and all of that changes. One flight of stares takes you from the least formal to the most formal. Don’t get on the squash court wearing anything but white. It’s offensive to the members.
Fat lawyers standing face to face naked, not offensive.
Blue shirts for a game, offensive.
A few weeks ago I saw a friend of my father’s in the locker room. He was, of course, naked. As he walked toward me to say hi, he gave himself a nice vigorous scratch. Then extended the same hand for a shake.
Thank goodness I was headed to the showers.