Note to self: After blogging, be sure to switch into “Normal World” mode before venturing forth.
The local YMCA lobby has a circular front desk. After you swipe your membership card at the 3 o’clock position, you pass through the gate and emerge around the back half of the desk sphere, where they stack the towels.
The towel situation is a bit of a crapshoot. Sometimes you come around the bend of the desk to see a mountain of clean, white towels. Sometimes, there are no towels.
The thing is, the place is a steam bath.
The ecosystem of the exercise room mirrors that of the rainforest. Here, scientists have been able to successfully grow rare plants that need heat and moisture. If the low hanging plants sometimes interfere with one’s workout, it is a small price to pay to save these precious resources. The spider monkeys, however, are really annoying.
I try not to dwell on the fact that all that moisture is the evaporated sweat of my workout brethren. And that am breathing it in. Suffice it to say, you need a towel here.
Today, as I swiped my card, I craned my neck to check the back desk. Did I see white? Yes! But that is no guarantee. I’ve seen towels from this vantage point before, only to have them snapped up before my aged legs could totter around the desk.
There is white on the desk, but not much. It may not even qualify as a pile – more of a short stack. I’m passing through the gate now, my mind busy sifting through possibilities, plotting angles and velocities in case someone sprints down the hall. I have a definite shot at this.
I’m around the arc. I reach, trying not to grab, trying not to show desperation. My hand closes around one corner of a towel and I reel it in. As the towel clears the desk I see only Formica underneath. Lo and behold, I have snagged the last towel!
This is where the disconnect from “Normal World” comes in.
My hand continues its upward trajectory until I am holding the fluffy whiteness aloft, high above my head. I actually throw my head back and laugh, a full-throated, maniacal “ha ha ha. HA HA HA!”
If the young woman working the desk were one of the high school Barbies they usually employ, I would have been on the receiving end of one of two possible looks:
1) blank, bored, incomprehension
2) “whatever”, eye-rolling disdain
But the woman working today was a little older. She got it. She had the grace to laugh in response and say, “Sometimes it’s the little things.”
p. s. I was sweating after only a few minutes on the treadmill. I reached for the towel hanging from the arm, only to discover it had fallen to the floor. It was out of reach, its pristine whiteness begrimed with Y dirt. For the next 20 minutes I swiped my stinging eyes with my sleeve.
p.p.s. I am on vacation this week. This is a rewrite of a post from last November that was seen by approximately 2 people. Hope it finds a wider audience now.