So, the new health club place we joined is working out pretty well -- there's nobody in the fucking pool like, ever, and the "bubble tub" is doing wonders for my gamy knee, which is bonus. In fact, yesterday, after a particularly swimvigorating workout, I decided to reward myself with a visit to the steam room. I figured a) it would probably be good for my seriously boogity sinuses and 2) it might help loosen up the ol' rigor mortis that I've been battling daily since turning 43.
So, I turn on the little timer thing to 15 minutes -- I figure I don't want to overdo it on my virgin schvitz. Then I open the door and find myself standing in a 5 x 7 cinder block room with a coupla benches. Seriously no frills steam action. But there was no fucking steam. So, I sit down on the bench and wait... allowing my claustrophobia to really ramp the fuck up. Just as I started to feel the walls start closing in, on came the steam.
Now, I'm sure the sheer terror I experienced at that moment was hard-wired into my genetic code in the early 1940s, somewhere between Krakow and Warsaw. I mean, here I was, a skinny Jew, most likely the only one in mid-Michigan (or in the whole fucking state, for that matter), naked as a fucking jaybird in a darkened, cinder block room, as a billowing, hissing white cloud of steam poured out from under the bench. I KNEW they didn't like my kind at the club! I KNEW IT!
But I tried to fight it. I tried to self-talk and say, "Just relax, crabbs -- it's just a plume of nice, healthy steam and not a noxious cloud of cyanide death-vapor. Just breathe it in... that's it, clear out those lungs... that's--wait, why is my chest feeling tighter? What's that smell? Do I smell... almonds?! Why is the room spinning? I've... I've gotta get OUTTA HERE!! WHERE'S THE DOOR? WHERE'S THE GODDAMN DOOR?! HELP! HEEELLLP!!"
I burst out of the gas chamber and into the shower area, where a lone septuagenarian was hosing off. Never had I been so happy to see an age-spotted methuseleh lathering up his leathery nutmegs. I almost hugged the guy, but I figured he would've called out for the commandant, so I toweled off, got dressed and got the fuck outta there.
So, yeah, I don't think I'm gonna take another schvitz for awhile. I'll stick to the fucking "bubble tub." Keep my eye on those fucking "tennis players." And I'll be sure to wear my swim cap at all times, so they don't spot my horns.