I’m not a creature of habit.
Some time ago, like a year, I told myself that I was going to make one photo a day. I told myself that it didn’t have to be anything stellar, just something that would be worthy of a “Dude, check this out!”
I think that lasted about 3 days, which is kind of disturbing for a host of reasons, such as:
- I used to shoot for a living so it was my job to make at least one photo a day that could run on the front page of a newspaper. You would think then, that it would be easy if I lowered that standard to at least one photo a day that could run on a blog.
- I gave myself the option of allowing that one photo a day to be shot with, anything. I have a bazillion cameras of every size and shape and I carry an iPhone with me everywhere I go. Say what you will about iPhone but given the right light (or enough of it) that tiny lens and sensor manages some pretty amazing images. Don’t think so? Believe me.
- I live in Southern California.
- My wife is beautiful.
So, that didn’t work out. Dammit.
Next, I decided that I would turn that one photo a day into one photo a day of my cat. Spooky is actually quite photogenic and even though he’s getting up in his kitty years he still does some pretty wacky stuff.
I know what you’re saying, this idea is not exactly original and I wasn’t planning to try and compete with Dooce and her Daily Chuck. That would just cultivate a feeling of personal inadequacy given that Heather Armstrong gets a half million page views a day and makes like $50K a month from advertising. (Disclaimer: Dooce does not need visualkaos’ link here. My readers, both of you, already know and love her.)
So the one photo a day, even of a beautiful, fluffy feline who rarely leaves my side, sits on the sink as I brush my teeth, greets me at the door every night and writhes on my socks when I get home from the gym, didn’t work out.
I couldn’t get into the habit.
But I do some things habitually. When I get to the gym, I have a routine. You might even call it a habit.
Tonight, when I arrived at L.A Fitness, I did what I always do.
Toss gym bag on bench. Open pocket on gym bag, pull out satchel, remove ear buds, empty the contents of pants pockets back into satchel. Pile combination lock, weight lifting gloves, towel, water bottle, sneakers and iPhone onto bench. Remove work clothes, stuff into gym bag. Put on gym clothes. Stuff bag into locker. Plug ear buds into iPhone, then ears.
Tonight, I tossed my bag down on the bench in the locker room at precisely the same time as another dude. I’ll call him real estate guy because he looked like a realtor and he had a leather bag that had a “Freddie Mac” logo on it.
I don’t know if the federal home loan mortgage corporation known as Freddie Mac has a line of clothing, perfume and accessories but I suspect not. My guess is that real estate guy attended a conference or workshop that centered on instructing realtors in how to bilk the government out of money that could then be lent to working-class humans with little or no knowledge of mortgage banking and who think that have a shot at the American Dream. A large portion of these government funds could then be pocketed by realtors.
At tables with folding legs inside booths made of canvas and PVC, “freebies” such as water bottles, coffee cups and golf balls with the Freddie Mac logo adorned on them would be given away to conference attendees.
A few VIP attendees, or those who signed up the most other attendees, got better freebies like a weekend in Las Vegas (complete with a complimentary tour of the newest Time-share property in South Nevada,) unisex polo shirts (baby blue or tope, size medium only) and leather gym bags.
Real estate guy seemed to mirror my every move. He seemed to have the same routine as mine, with some refinement.
Standing on his sneakers so his feet would never touch the floor, real estate guy folded his starched oxford shirt, hung his dockers on a hanger and stuffed shoe trees into his leather shoes. These were not Italian shoes. I’m gonna guess Florsheim, Broxton. Probably about $70.
When I stood up, earbuds in place, real estate guy was looking right at me. He had a white towel over his shoulder, a water bottle in his hand and ear buds plugged into a Blackberry.
“Here we go, ” I said.
He winked at me.
I’m not very fond of the men’s locker room at L.A Fitness. It’s nice enough. Big, newish, clean, for the most part.
What I don’t like about it is that it’s always full of naked men.
Men walk around in there, immodestly, ass-naked.
After working in an office all day and stopping in a cafe for lunch or dropping by a Starbucks or just being in public all day, then walking through that door into a locker room full of naked men, sauntering around, junk swinging, is still always startling.
But this reaction to a company of naked men isn’t from some deep, emotional distress or a traumatic, childhood experience that I’ve been suppressing all my life.
I’ve never been molested, at least not when I didn’t want to be, have only worm women’s clothes once and I don’t have peculiar behavior around young boys.
It’s just the visual thing. I enjoy seeing naked women, not naked men.
This is particularly true, and it is the reason I’m writing this now, when men’s equipment comes into close proximity to myself especially, at eye level.
Occasionally, while sitting on the bench in the locker room, bending over tying my shoes, a naked man may walk past placing Big Jim and the Twins well inside my comfort zone.
There is only approximately 2.5 feet of space between the locker room bench and the lockers themselves. If a naked someone needs to get to a locker that is beyond where I may be tying my shoes, then he must walk, unprotected past my unprotected self. I’m not certain but I think the tolerance radius for male genitalia and my face is at least three feet.
To me, this is really common sense. I wouldn’t subject someone bending over to tie their shoes to my own wedding tackle in this way. I’m sure, as a courtesy, that I would spare them any ignominy by waiting for the person finish tying their shoes and stand up before I made my way past.
Even then I would likely subject them only to my backside
Although, I’m not sure which is worse.