I shared soap with a strange man in the shower and it wasn’t even weird

One student’s recent experience with public showers

In an effort to not look like a trash bag full of mango pulp this summer, I have taken up running around the track at Alumni Arena. Which has been great – when I actually do it. The only problem is that I sweat. And as my friends and family would attest, I sweat profusely.

I’m not one of those people who can finish up a workout lightly glistening like a turkey in a Norman Rockwell painting. By the end of my run I’m beat red and drenched. I can’t go to class like that.

I need a shower.

But where? I’m a commuter, I can’t go back to my dorm and home is a half an hour drive from here. I guess my only option is the public shower at Alumni. A public shower though? I haven’t done that since swim class in eighth grade. And even then, we all wore our trunks. But being the gross sweaty guy in class is not an option. I will not let that be me.

The locker room shower it is.

I came to my running session fully prepared: gym bag stocked with fresh clothes, body wash and a loofa. After my run, I undressed down to my skivvies and after a moment’s hesitation shed them and strut into the shower loofa and body wash in hand – I’ve been informed on multiple occasions that I don’t walk like a normal human being; apparently, I strut.

This isn’t that bad, I kept thinking as I waited for the water to heat up, alone in the shower room. I actually feel pretty free.

Another gentleman enters the shower with me.

Huh, surprisingly still not weird, I think.

I finish up my shower and it’s time to walk past this hygiene-conscious gentleman who is standing right next to the exit. I make my way past him – eyes up of course so as not to see anything I shouldn’t – and I’m ready to dry off when I hear, “Hey.”

I stop and turn around.

“Can I borrow your soap?” asks this stranger one hand on the wall, one hand covering his junk.

“Sure,” I respond as casually as if a classmate had asked to borrow a pen, standing there as he squeezes the gel into his hand, back turned to me.

He hands the bottle back and thanks me and I turn and finish drying off before returning to my locker to dress.

I did a nice thing, I think. That wasn’t weird at all.

email: davidtun@buffalo.edu