February 12, 2011 by David Gillaspie
Walking The Walk, Sweating The Sweat
Two young men, self-proclaimed high school football players, sit on the upper bench.
They are too young to be so flabby, but that’s why they were in the sauna.
A thin man with a tramp stamp sits on the opposite side talking to them.
“You guys played football?” he asks.
“That was the idea,” one of the guys says, wiping his forehead and flinging sweat toward the floor.
“Yeah, we showed up to play our senior year, but it didn’t work out,” the other says.
They all share the look of dashed hope. The skinny guy, late thirties, nods his head. The other two, early twenties, do the same.
“We had dreams of college football.”
Sports dreams die hard, but most of the dreamers try to keep an athletic look about them.
Not these guys.
“We were good, too,” one says, letting his saliva drip onto the lower bench in front of him.
The older guy with the tattoo stares at the spit silently.
One of the former football players stands on the floor and drops a ball of spit between his feet.
“Yeah, we were good. Good enough.”
The last spitter was too much.
“Look, man, you just spit on the bench. Now on the floor. This is not a spittoon,” the older guy says.
“What are you, the spit police? A sauna cop? We spit where we want. If you’ve got a problem, bring it.”
Both guys stand on the floor and let their spittle drip.
“It’s not hygenic to spit in a public place. It’s a problem. It’s your problem and you’re making it mine.”
The two young guys eye-ball the man.
“We’re a problem? And you’re a dude with a back tattoo? Who sees your ink, man?” one says.
“If we’re a problem, at least it’s not big enough to get us into prison, because that’s where back tattoos are popular.” the other says.
Another sauna visitor snaps the door open and shut just as one of the guys drops another lugie on the floor.
“That’s disgusting. Clean that up. This isn’t a toilet, no matter the two of you pieces of crap being in here.”
The young men leave.
“They spit on the floor, on the bench. They’re filthy,’ the tramp stamp says.
“Tell me about it. From spitting to pouring water on the heater, it’s a wonder this sauna keeps working.”
“They just failed health class,” the tattoo says on the way out the door, his sweat streaming off his body.
The new visitor watches while the sweaty man steps into the swimming pool and dips down in the water.
“NOOOOOOOOO!” he says to the film spreading across the pool. “I’ve got to find a better sauna.”