25 January 2011

Mista Steamy

So this is what happens after a year's worth of inertia.  I ripped up my forearm in a senior citizen yoga class last week and am back in the land of limited motion. I can't even ball up my left fist in blind rage. Exercise-wise, I've been taking baby steps so as not to pop an implant, so this pathetic injury is all about being woefully out of shape.  These days, I get winded playing Wii and almost pass out after vacuuming a small room.  So I'm on the yogi DL for the week.  

In the meantime, I figured it was high time to venture back into the steam room. The steam room and I go way back.  Back in the day, I would slip unnoticed into the steam room at the Boston Harbor Hotel during lunch hour.  Today, in the post 9/11 world, you can't even breach an office food court without getting tazed.  Several years ago, I'd go for weekly steams at the local spa where you got your own private bath and unlimited (+free!) use of the spa products.  I'd steam it out, then moisturize myself to within an inch of my life with their $400 body cream -- Kanebo Sensai Premier.  

We became Y members a couple of years ago so we go there now. It's a beautiful facility and while the community steam room is no frills, it's clean. Mostly.  But I knew it would be different  from my past experiences when I spotted a woman eating a tuna sandwich in the neighboring sauna. 

Still, the Y steam room was especially dear to me over the past two years when I was going through treatment. It was a perfect place for visualization exercises.  I'd set up shop on my soggy towel and would envision myself sweating out cancer cells.  The only downside was feeling self conscious when other people were in there with me.  There's no need to make idle chit chat when you're sweating out toxic waste.  But it's even worse when you're bald and disfigured and just want to be invisible, an apparition in the fog.

An advantage of working from home though, is that I can avoid the throngs at the Y and sometimes even get the steam room all to myself.  Most days, I  find myself steaming among the elderly and Moms with jacked-up Madonna arms, taking advantage of the free babysitting.  That's all well and good.  However, I also have a nemesis. 

One of my neighbors is kind of a middle-aged version of "The Situation." He's one of these guys who finds it physically impossible to keep his shirt on. He mows the lawn shirtless, even if it's 50 degrees.  In the summer, he shuns his backyard and deck, props himself up on one of those rubberized chaise lounges from the 70s and sunbathes close to the street.  We see him all over town and he's a pleasant enough guy, just a little creepy. I once saw him leering at a table of young women at Uno's.  Leering at Uno's.  Really?  

And as much as he can't keep his shirt on, he can't stay out of the Y either.  He is always there. Always. And he frequents the steam room.  We'll call him Mr. Steamy.

Aside:  Not to be confused with Mr. Steamy dryer balls, which I have an unhealthy obsession with and will discuss on another post.

The last time we had an encounter in the steam room, my hair was in nascent stages of regrowth and I was bird-skinny.  I looked like Gollum wearing a furry bathing cap.  There were several people in the steam room that day and I sat on the far end, just wanting to close my eyes and do my visualization

Then I heard him:
"Hey, is that Kate over there?" 


"How you doin? You look good. You feelin good? 

Then he proceeded to move over closer to me and ask if i had any recipes for stuffed mushrooms.  

It happened a few more times, but now I make sure his car is in his driveway before I venture over to the Y.  

Earlier this week, I suited up and headed to the steam room.  Sure enough, rounding the corner in full peacock strut -- Mr. Steamy, mindlessly fumbling his dryer balls. 

I did a mini cannon ball into the jacuzzi, splashing an older gent who muttered "Jesus" under his breath. Sorry.:)   

Mr. Steamy was heading in for a steam so I waited it out in the jacuzzi for a bit. When it was safe, I opened the door and walked in on a what felt like a scene from a mature porn film.

There were two older ladies exfoliating each other with sea salt from a Ziploc bag.  Another older man "Lou" was dropping some fragrant essential oils around the floors.  Then, lo and behold, Mr. Steamy comes back in with a vial of clear liquid that looked like some kind of lubricant. 

"Heyyyyy! Kate!  How you doin? Long time, no see. (slaps my back).  You look good.  You feel good?"

One of the women held out the Ziploc bag and asked me if I wanted some sea salt. She was gracious, but I just can't participate in public exfoliation.  

Mr. Steamy walks over to the place where Lou was dropping his oils.  "Ladies,Lou, try this..it's really strong eucalyptus.  A little different."   Mr. Steamy adds his concoction to the already overwhelming sinus-clearing cocktail that Lou had thrown down.   

"Oh, that's delicious," said one of the ladies, still rubbing herself silly with sea salt.

 Delicious. No..no..no.. it was like homemade tear gas! 

I was getting dizzy and anxious.  The exact opposite of my intent. 

It was time to blow out of this new age whore house.

Does anyone know how much it costs to install a steam shower or infrared sauna in the house?  The kids don't need to go to college, do they?


kaybee said...

The Creepy Steamer.
He is not cool!

K.R. said...

I agree. He is not cool. I like Lou though ;)I think it's all right to do the sea salt scrub if you're alone, but I'm with you, KJ. Just say no to public exfoliation! Oh, and tuna sangies. Eew.

lpd said...

Eeeeeeeeeeeeew indeed. I don't know where to begin. I thank you for not using "moist" in this post, KJ. Thank you.

Okay. Tuna sandwiches and swapping mushroom recipes in a steam room is just so...wrong. Wrong wrong wrong.

In my search to have constant steamy goodness around my sinuses to combat this lingering cold, I discovered this motorcycle helmet humidifier that you might enjoy. Personal steamy goodness, and nobody can see who you are.


nobigdill said...

KJ... that's some funny shit. Gotta love the Y.

Beth said...

God Bless ya. I don't think I have ever had a steam. Sounds relaxing, but not so much at the Y. I am sure you have heard of this place, but there is a Steam place in Quincy on Willard St. I can't remember the name off hand, but I believe they are private. Check that out