The basic truth about being naked is that I try not to be, as much as possible. I scuttle past the mirror on the way to the shower, and put on my panties and bra before I do my post shower slap-lotion-on-all-available-skin, which is the total of my beauty regime.
In spite of being at a fair weight and fitness level, naked doesn’t happen too willingly at 51 (esp with the lights on) and bathing suits require courage. I may never wear one again. It is just too strange.
That is the way I am. I’ve made peace with it. Except sometimes when I find an old picture of me at the beach. Glad I enjoyed that body while I had it….
So yesterday, I did my regular hard workout at the Y. 45 minutes of hard cardio and 45 minutes of free weights and abs. I was hot, sweaty, tired and feeling virtuous. I went to the upstairs, adults only (no Mommy’s with little kids, been there and done that) locker room yanked my clothes off and headed into the shower.
Then it happened.
I was standing there with a head full of soap when a male voice from the other side of the plastic shower curtain said, “Lady, the building is on fire and you gotta get out of here.”
I didn’t shriek, mostly because I was paralyzed with terror. “I have an extreme case of naked right now,” I told the voice calmly, “if you leave I’ll get out of the shower.”
“Hurry up lady,” says the voice “the building is filling with smoke.”
I heard him walk away, but I rinsed the soap out of my hair before I turned off the water. Then I got dressed in maybe 35 seconds gathered my stuff and booked.
When I opened the door to the hall/stairway, there was some smoke, but more importantly, I finally heard the loud fire alarm that the closed locker door and ears full of soap made me miss.
Boy Howdie, did I hit my target heart rate.
I am 51, hadn’t tied my shoes and was clutching my gym bag, purse and water. I still made it down stairs in one fell jump, sprinted through the creepily empty hall and out the emergency fire door.
Everyone else was standing on the front lawn talking on cellphones as I zipped forward. Apparently the emergency was already over, and they had figured out that the boiler backed up or blah, blah, blah who cares.
I stopped in the parking lot, combed my hair and realized something.
I was a lot more scared of being seen naked than I was of burning to death in a building.
And that is the truth.