Most men know who I'm talking about when I bring up "Naked Guy" at the gym. I'm unsure of the politics in ladies' locker rooms, but having been a member of various gyms since roundabout 1991, Naked Guy has been present at each one of them, in one horrific incarnation or another: "Old Naked Guy", "Chatty Naked Guy", "Cruising Naked Guy", "Incredibly 'Blessed' Naked Guy", "Naked Guy Who Shaves and Blowdries His Hair Naked"...the list goes on and on. The trait all of these Naked Guys have in common? Go on, guess. Give it your best shot. No? okay:
THEY'RE ALWAYS NAKED.
Sometimes, Naked Guy taunts other locker room patrons by draping a towel OVER HIS SHOULDER, leaving his unmentionable parts not only totally mentioned but flapping in your face.
I am not Naked Guy, at neither my new gym/pool here in Portland or at any other facility I've ever belonged to. But yesterday, another gym member turned me into Naked Guy. The story goes:
I've been swimming since pacing Kate last weekend, giving my body a break for a week from the pounding of the trails, and I was fortunate enough to find a community center only a mile or so away that has a 6 lane lap pool. I was changing from my suit post-swim to my running clothes so I could hit the weight room, wearing nothing but a layer of chlorinated water, when an older gentleman, the second, and I'm not exaggerating, the precise moment my towel hits the floor, asks, "Where'd you get the tattoos?"
I (outwardly) calmly open my locker, trying my hardest to focus on answering him while digging through my bag to prevent anyone from walking in and mistaking me for Naked Guy. Naturally, nothing I want to wear is easily accessible, so there I stand, bare-assed and chitchatting, digging (outwardly) calmly through my clothing.
Then - somehow - the subject of where he'd attended high school in Los Angeles is introduced. At this point, I'm naked, standing on my towel (athlete's foot fears, a discussion for another time), struggling to get my shorts right-side-out. I'm picturing myself hopping on one foot as well, although it likely didn't happen, for added, horrifying, jiggling-junk effect, as I slide my left foot through the waist of my shorts...my still-wet leg that I hadn't dried once the conversation started in hopes to escape Naked Guy fate more quickly.
The leg which, predictably, gets stuck inside the shorts liner.
By now, my captor is magically on the subject of how his niece happened to run into an old grade school classmate of his in Florida, and I'm one leg through, sprinting towards the finish line. As his lips spin the yard of the unexpected phone call and reunion, I'm nearly relegated to sitting on the bench (my naked ass on an unprotected naked bench = another neurosis for another time), jamming my right, wet foot into my shorts and triumphantly yanking them above my waist.
I don't know why, but the conversation kind of dwindled at that point, and before I could pull on my t shirt, my newfound friend was bidding me a good workout and exiting the locker room.
Luckily, no one had entered our area during this seemingly weeks-long conversation. So, narrowly escaping with my Not Naked Guy status intact, I closed my locker and turned the corner to be halted by a hairy, naked back and bottom, facing the mirror, toothbrush in hand.
Brush on with your bad self, Naked Guy.