I wanted to add this to my previous post but I forgot.

After my run last night, I decided to make use of the sauna. I just wanted to relax in the steam-y heat, let it open up my sinuses and lungs and permeate my sore muscles. Just a nice quiet time after my run. Ahh.

When I got there, some guy (tattooed, bleach blonde hair, fake tan, toenails painted hot pink) had gotten the temperature and steam up really high. It felt great. It’s usually not very warm in there. I was going to ask him what he did (open the door until the steam came on? Pour water over the sensors?) but then I remembered that I didn’t want to talk to anyone and went back to ignoring him.

The guy (I’ll call him Blondie) had a bottle of what looked like flavored water and he kept dousing himself with it, and rubbing it through his hair. It had a faint lotion-y smell, but that could have been my imagination.

Then a girl came in, brown hair, thin but she had a receding chin, wearing a red bikini, having just left the other sauna, the one with no steam (I’ve just realized that I don’t remember what it’s called; is it the sauna, and the one with steam is the steam room?). She and Blondie talked about the sauna, and how it wasn’t very warm, cool, in fact. I kept ignoring them. Then Blondie left.

The girl pointed up to the ceiling, covered in droplets of water just waiting to, um, drop, and asked me if I thought that that was human sweat. I was mildly disturbed to think of it like that, not to mention being all ignore-y, so I mumbled some response about it being just condensation. She started to describe a micro-climate of clouds of human sweat, a cycle that just repeats.

Then another guy came in, dark hair and shorter than me (which makes him pretty short) and he climbed up to the area where Blondie had been sitting.

“Ugh” he said (he actually pronounced the word), “This is awful!” He looked down at his feet, and slowly shifted from one foot to the other. “Someone had been putting lotion on here. Can you smell it?” The girl and I shook our heads. “That’s… that’s so… ugh.”

“Maybe it’s just sweat,” the girl said, with a faint tint of hope to her voice.

“No.” The guy (I’ll call him “Ugh”) was adamant. “It’s not. It’s lotion. I’ve seen it all the time. Not only is it disgusting, it’s a safety hazard.” He slid his feet around. “See? It’s slick right here.”

I mentioned Blondie, who had been dousing himself, but I suggested it was probably water. Oops. I was getting pulled in to the conversation again. I scooted over to make room, and the girl scooted over closer to me. “You can sit here,” the girl said. But Ugh didn’t take us up on the offer. He sat near but not in the puddle of lotion/sweat/water.

After a brief, blissful moment of silence, the girl (I want to call her Sweat but it just doesn’t seem right) started up again. She asked Ugh if he’d been in the sauna. They chatted about how it wasn’t very warm for a moment, and Ugh, cynical Ugh, complained about the maintenance staff and how the facilities guy wasn’t fixing it.

Then Sweat (see, it just doesn’t fit) said, “I wonder if, because the other room has all that wood, that it absorbs all the sweat, and then the heat causes it to get, um, deposited all over the room, making a cycle…” She trailed off, lost in wonder. Then she sniffed and shook her head. “Because,” she said ruefully, “I know I just get drenched when I’m in there.”

Again, I was getting pulled in. I didn’t know what this girl’s deal was but for some reason I felt compelled to counter her mental image. “I don’t know if this is the same thing, but I know that when buying a cutting board,” and here I framed a flat square in front of me, “they say that a wood one is cleaner,” and here Ugh and Sweat started nodding in agreement with me, “because it absorbs the food particles and bacteria and locks it in. Where a plastic one, the bacteria just stays on the surface until you clean it off. Maybe it’s harder for the sweat in the other room to get pulled out of the wood in there.”

Sweat looked around. “But it’s the same in here. This tile is hard; the sweat just lays on the surface…”

Ugh and I looked at each other. “Oh, I’m sure they clean this room out” I said.

“They have to!” Ugh agreed.

Ugh looked up, and we could make out the shape of Blondie standing at the door. Ugh immediately began talking as though continuing a sentence from before, as Blondie walked in: “…as I was saying, what I really hate is when people put lotion on in here, it gets all over, makes things slick, and, well, disgusting. You know?”

Blondie looked sheepish. I smiled at Ugh’s tactic but felt embarassed for Blondie, being the target of Ugh’s passive-aggressive tactic. The four of us lapsed into silence. There was now a tension in the room.

Dammit, I came in here to relax. Before anything could escalate, I got up and left. There was no relaxation in there to be had.