Archive for February 4th, 2008

Tales from the Gym – the Naked Sauna Faerie

You wouldn’t think it would be so easy to be oblivious in such close quarters. The sauna is the size of a small bedroom; there’s only one way in and one way out, and there’s really nowhere to hide.

When I closed my eyes and turned on my music, there were a few women lying about on the cedar shelves. I settled into my favorite position – lying on my back, with my feet propped up against a wall – and drifted happily into a post-workout trance as their muffled noises filtered through my headphones: a cough, a rustle, bare feet padding across the wooden floor. It seemed like just a few seconds later when I heard someone smile a nanosecond before I heard her voice:

“Aye my girl, it looks like you’ve got the place all to yourself. That’s a nice trick.”

I opened my eyes and popped one of my earphones out of my head.

“As you can see” I said, trying to smile and gesture in spite of being perpendicular to my interlocutor, “I’m saving plenty of room for you.”

“Oh no pretty, enjoy it for yourself” she responded with a chuckle. Then she stripped off all of her clothes, except for a shower cap, and said “well, that’s it for me. I’m done!”

And then she left.

And so, as well, had all the other sauna ladies. They’d disappeared, soundlessly, though I would swear the door had never once been opened.

Did the naked sauna faerie wave them away with a gesture from her swimsuit-wielding hand? Did she create an alternate reality just for me – one in which I suddenly had the entire sauna to myself on a busy Sunday afternoon? Regardless of which magical explanation obtains, the sauna is clearly an enchanted place.

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