I had been frequenting the sauna room for months. Ah, it was steamy, sweat would stream from me, wrapped up in that big wooden box, my buddy and I would chat in heat. It was nice for a while, we would converse while releasing toxins, then relax, take a chair on the balcony in the sunlight, and lounge, cooling off before re-entering the hot box, everything was perfect. Perfect that is, except for one thing. Everybody was nude.
Old men would walk around suit-less, tall men, short men, a Spanish friend is round like a beach ball, giant men, most had skin hanging like melted candle stick. In all this heat, sweat and wrinkled skin, there is a commonality, nudity.
Myself, I was tucked away neatly in my suit, a towel strung over my shoulder, I would sit and sweat protected, everyone else would sit bare assed on wood.
But I couldn’t shake it, there was some shame I was brought up with, I cant spring myself in the nude with a barrel full of old men, could I? It’s a bad enough to bare the sights, rather to bare myself. So I sat, wrapped in conversation, fully suited and though feeling ill-suited to the occasion, I felt secure.
It was a day like any other, I flicked the locker handle like a zippo, the it groaned, and I gasped, I uttered a small moan. In my bag, where my towel would normally puff, wrapped inside like an egg yoke, my swim suit, there was nothing.
Ugh, the luck, what could I do, what would I do? I couldn’t go bare-assed into the wood room, I had my emotions to look after, I had my embarrassment. What would I do?
An idea unraveled in my head, ah, I can swipe the long rolls of brown paper for hand wiping, and wrap myself in them, I would be covered… its odd, but hell, I really want to enter the steam room, this is a small determent, it will be over soon, I will be sweaty, showered and refreshed.
I undulated the paper, I wrapped by bare skin. It fit, like a charm, like a mini-skirt… it was perverse. I stole a look in the mirror, it was perverse, it was base, the sexual tension that had spurred its solution, had slyly produced the opposite effect. It was a provocative piece worthy of a gay magazine…
Hell, I am going in anyway, I thought, and I did.
I received a few looks, a few old men muttering to themselves “this generation”. And I sat, wrapped up in my mini-skirt, I even had bend at the knees like girl in mini skirt to sit, it was humiliating.
I sat, sweat began to pop up in pools on my skin, beads began to careen down my body, the paper did what it was designed to do, it absorbed the drops. It began damp and waterlogged, it got heavy, sticky like… then I got up.
With a dull munching sound the paper wripped a slit straight down the middle, the sides peeled away and fell to the ground like wings. I was left standing there, incomplete liberty.
A few men glanced over and chuckled. But I didn’t buckle, the entire satire of it burst laughter, I couldn’t help it, I chuckled too.
Somehow the terrible absurdity of wearing around brown hand paper towels, seemed far more embarrassing than being in the buff.
And I realized that my inhabition had been as silly as the paper towels left crumpled in a ball on the floor, when they split, so had my inhabition, and I was free, literally.
So I realized that the true absurdity was in my inhabition, and it was only mirrored by the lengths I went to preserve it, and what a sight in the mirror it was, but with shedding my security, spurred on by insecurity, I ended up shedding my insecurity, and remaining with but what? Security.