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Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Locker Room Dance

I'd like to make this post a "Part II" to the one I did a few months ago, "Tales From a YMCA Locker Room" This one might be even creepier, because unlike the poster children for senility I encountered strutting naked at the local YMCA, this one involves my father.

Yes, my father--the once proud New York State Supreme Court judge. I invited him to the most time honored of father-son traditions, a baseball game in July.

While the game has yet to be played, Friday night was an odd sort of ritual, testing our respective "comfortabilities" with each other, as we bunked up for the night at the Hyatt in Cambridge.

We got to the room, walked in the door and moments later we were staring a large room....with one king sized bed. After empty offers of "You take it." "No, you take it." and the accompanying argument points:

Dad: "You got the tickets."

Me: "I am the fruit of your loins"

Dad: "You've got the big interview in the morning" (side note: big interview = 30 minutes on ESPN 890...hence the free tickets)

Me: "You're much older, your fragile frame couldn't handle sleeping on the floor"

And so it went. I found myself on a rock hard cot, he in the luxury of a king size bed all to himself. Little did I know it would be the least awkward moment of our time together.

I was startled awake at an ungodly hour. Something like 5am. My crusty eyes slowly opening, to find my father at his lap top his underwear. I'm sure his colleagues in the legal profession will smile knowing that his latest column was written in a state of near nakedness, while his only son looked on in horror; The hour. The old skin. The giggles. What the hell is he doing up?

Like any two men sharing a space where a shower is involved, the rules of "manly naked-ness" applied. Towels adorned, unless drying. Talking kept to a minimum (anything revolving around a field or diamond is acceptable fodder). And above all: EYES ON THE ROAD. Well, our shower schedules had a slight overlap, him entering. Which meant the tail end of the "drying period" would be an all out battle for personal space.

Sure enough, my shower ended and I stepped back into the room and got a face full of nakedness, and an offer to make coffee. My silence must have been affirmation, because as he neared we were caught in a post-shower shuffle. To basically naked men, pacing back and forth, bobbing and weaving to get past each other. An awkward locker room dance. Social cues misinterpreted, thus leaving us powerless to get by each other. "God, please make it stop."

And it did. Eventually. But not before a long, strange silence hung in the room.

So today, my beloved Sox take on the Orioles. And while the memory of today's game might fade, this morning's events certainly will not.


maggie.clifford said...

You ARE the fruit of his loins, Rob, so why not give the man a nice, firm hug during your naked tango time? Like a nonchalant handshake except full-bodied and naked. . .

fatpickle said...


Gary said...

"God, please make it stop."

And it did. Eventually. But not before a long, strange silence hung in the room.

From the sounds of it, that wasn't the only thing that "hung".

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