I am slowly getting used to all the nakedness involved in belonging to a gym here in Switzerland. Very slowly.
The other day I was happy to join Dana and her husband, Brad at our gym for some exercise and conversation. Brad is one of those friend’s husbands whom I claim as a friend of mine, too. Of course, Dana has my full allegiance, and if there is ever a discrepancy between she and Brad I side with her, regardless of the facts-- this is simple girl friend etiquette. But I like hanging out and talking with Brad, too.
Brad is sort of like an absent-minded professor. He is an actual professor, and actually absent-minded. He always seems to be lost in deep thought, probably thinking up how to reset the three-toed-tree-sloth’s DNA in order to find the cure for cancer, or something of that sort. But he also has this Hippy quality that must stem from years spent in the Peace Corps (where he and Dana met and fell in love).
Okay, back to the nakedness. After working out, I left Dana on the elliptical machine and headed down to the ’wellness’ area. I disrobed in the women’s locker room, wrapped myself tightly in my huge beach towel and headed in to the sauna, which I knew would be inhabited by a naked man (or men). I cautiously approached the sauna and was able to make out amongst the shadowy recesses of the room, that inside there was indeed a naked man splayed on one of the redwood benches. I entered, looking anywhere except in the naked man’s direction and managed to hop up onto a bench on the opposite side of the sauna.
As I was laying down I glimpsed every so quickly out the corner of my eye at the fella' lying there, in complete naked relaxation, and gathered to my horror, that it was Brad.
I stared quickly up at the ceiling and let out a “Jeeze Brad! You’re naked!”. He ever so absentmindedly said, “Huh? Oh, oh, hi Jenny. Sorry. Do you want me to cover up?”. “No. I just won’t look at you. And don’t look at me!”, I said -- I was still completely wrapped from shoulder to ankle in a towel, but that didn’t seem to matter to my awkward, uptight self.
So we both laid there for about fifteen minutes, me and my best friend’s naked husband, and chatted. About what, I haven’t any recollection-- I was so focussed on staring at the ceiling, trying not to even get a peripheral view of him.
But here’s how I know that I am becoming used to all the nakedness. Since then, since my naked encounter with my best friend’s husband, I am not scarred into acute situational speechlessness. I am actually able to carry on conversations with him (dressed, of course), looking him straight in the eye, not at the ceiling.