I joined a gym recently. Ok, ok, stop laughing. I will be the first one to admit that the skinny kid with daily groomed scruff-beard doesn't exactly scream "I need to get a lift in". But, I enjoy it. Perhaps it's just because of the cute girls (who generally ignore said scruff-beard kid. Why would you choose a Cooper in a room of Yukons? [I was going to write "Smart Car", but that was just too pretentious]). Or maybe it's the ability to push my body to the absolute limit--something I enjoy immensely. Reaching the point where it is no longer a matter of mentally pushing myself on through self-motivation, but being physically incapable of going further, reaching the biological limit of progress, the point where my sinews and striated fibers tell me to fuck off, is a feeling of utter bliss. I'll just try to not crap my pants the next time that happens (I've never crapped my pants, thank you. I do nearly puke every time, but that's another story).
[I am typing at a Cuban cafe right now, and some dick is slurping his pulled pork next to me. How he actually is accomplishing this feat is beyond me. He is doing it in that sort of militant lean-over-the-bowl-and-shove-everything-inside-and-let-whatever-doesn't-fit-fall-back-into-the-bowl-so-I-can-shove-it-back-in style. I wish to claim his still beating heart.]
But there is one part of the gym I wasn't quite expecting, nor do I look forward to each time I return: Naked old men.
I am being completely truthful, and I might simultaneously be betraying some unknown pact of secrecy amongst Those Who Lift, but old men love getting butt naked in the gym changing rooms. They love it. They can't get enough of it. If you're old and you go to the gym, you like getting naked there. You can't put on an ankle sock or check your complexion in the mirror without having some Old Man Ass (OMA) staring back at you. The trick is keeping your distance and averting your gaze. Futility defined.
And for some Satanic reason, they are always bending over. These prostrated geriatrics must hang around all day, staring at their shins, just waiting for some unsuspecting young bearded man to turn a corner and be greeted by OMA. Their patience is admirable. Their asses are hairy.
I, consequently, am a little bit more comfortable in letting my unmentionables hang freely. I mean, I don't go parading around, but if there has to be a moment of Full Monty before I get a towel around my waist, so be it. But I still have the modesty to cover up. These guys are airing their balls out like it was laundry day at Grandma's farm.
Why the nakedness? I suppose the urge comes from that curious characteristic of age which manifests itself in many ways: Simply not giving a shit.
Bumper to bumper traffic. Check my mirrors, or just go for it? Ah, fuck it.
Pretty girl walking the street. Say what's on my mind or keep dirty thoughts to myself? Ah, fuck it.
Shit my pants. Clean myself in the bathroom or enjoy the warmth. Ah, fuck it.
I never thought about it, but I actually envy them. Here's to not giving a damn!