Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Sauna and the Asian Woman

Gather 'round the campfire, children.  Grandpa Crow has a story to tell.

As you read this post, understand this: I am 18-years-old.  Got that?  Understand? 18-years-old.  

A few days ago, I went to the gym that is connected to my apartment, had a quick workout, then went for a swim in the pool that's also connected to my apartment. When I finished, I decided to go in the sauna and grab a quick steam.  

It ended up becoming something entirely different. 

The Sauna
No, this isn't one of those sappy love books your mom reads when your dad is sleeping right beside her -- this is a story that made me reflect on appearance and what the perception of myself is to those around me.  

I sat in the sauna, feeling the heat pass through the room, when an Asian woman walked in.  She couldn't have been more than 24.  I remembered seeing her go in the gym while I swam laps, and passing her by while she was going to the change room when I entered the sauna.  She was wearing a UWO t-shirt.  She sat down, no more than a few feet away, and proceeded to massage her thighs.  It was an interesting setting, to say the least.

As she kept rubbing her thighs, I tried to look around the room and not be a perv.  She was petite, but very attractive, and I couldn't help myself looking every so often.  I was praying that she would be ignorant to my occasional glances.  

Once she stopped, I thought I would ask her why she was doing that.  Nothing too personal, and (hopefully) not creepy enough to turn her off.  Just a simple question to strike up conversation.

Crow: "I was wondering, why do you massage your thighs?"

Asian woman: "Get away from me, you creepy old man."  Huh?

She got up, jumped off the bench, and left the room in a dead-sprint.  

I was speechless.  Did that just happen?  Did that just fucking happen?  I was frozen in my spot, still trying to decipher what I just experienced.  "...creepy old man".  At 18, I was called a creepy old man.  

A recent police-sketch of myself 

I replayed the moment in my head over and over again, when an old man (the friggin' irony) walked in and took a seat across the room.  He was very open, taking his robe off and just sitting naked across from me, and breathed in the moist air.

"Hot enough, ain't it?", he asked.  I nodded.  

"What was that Chinese girl doin' stormin' outta here?  Did ya whip out yer feller?"  

Ignoring everything that was wrong with that sentence, I explained the series of unfortunate events that had previously happened.

"Well, can't say that I'm completely shocked.  I mean, if someone yer age was lookin' at someone her age, then it might be a tad odd."

Wait, how old did this guy think I was?

I asked.  "Um, how old do you think I am?"

"Uhhh", he replied, "hmmm, 32?  Early thirties?"

Part of me wanted to kick him in his exhibited junk, but the other part of me just laughed.  Hysterically.  

"Sir, I'm 18."  

"Whaaaaaaaaaat? No way man, don't believe it fer a second."

We walked to the change room together and I showed him my driver's license, clearing showing that I was 18.  He laughed.  

"Son, you can't even buy beer now, could ya?"  Again, I nodded.  "Poor feller, you look like I did 'bout twenty years ago.  Still though, must be great when goin' out on the town now, ain't it?"  Ahuh.

We shook hands and parted ways, me walking home, while he walked to his car, lighting up a cigarette along the way.  Arriving home and taking a shower, I spent the whole time thinking back to the moment with the Asian girl.  Do I really look that old? Am I really a grown man?  

I cleared the fog on my bathroom mirror and took a long hard that's what she said look at myself.  I found about twenty grey hairs in the sides of my head, and some in the chin of my beard.  Maybe I do look old.  Maybe I am 18 going on 32.  Maybe I am beyond my years. 

But does that make me wiser?  


  1. Awe ptwanking, gross, but did he really make a joke about whipping it out! Ha oh the hilarity in the irony. As if she reacts that way! That’s incredible, and I’ve lived in Vancouver now for 4 years. What’s crazy is she’ll never know how much confusion she caused with such a short response. Yeah, you look older than you are, but not creepy old! It’s just talking for christ sakes! Hilarious that guy came in like that, oh man. I hear ya though brother, and funny this just happened to you, a less interesting one just happened to me the same way!.
    There’s a lot of that robotic Asian shit here. I’ve learned to embrace the awkwardness somehow. Such as, when I’m clearly walking the same path as them and they still don’t budge at all. Don’t ya hate that? Yeah, now I just run into them (usually Asian is all I’m saying.), and see if they say something first. Maybe say sorry.
    But tonite, and not to make this about me more, but same kind of thing happened, way less interesing.. I’m in the dressing room at the gym and a lot of dudes were in there I noticed, so I says jokingly ‘Geez, how come the busiest I’ve seen the gym is now and in the dressing room?’ Absolute silence. Halfish were Asia. ‘Tough crowd’ I says. See, pretty sure I do it on purpose now. Not that I’m right, I just can’t believe the detachment sometimes. Your chick’s on another level though.
    I think a lot of them here might actually be drones. It’s the only way I can explain it. Cultural differences just isn’t cutting it anymore. I made up a word while driving the other day – hesitasian. A plethora of hesitasian on the roads here.

    Good story, can’t believe it, and definitely worth analyzing. Fascinating people are like that.
    Oh, and I dig your structure dude… “this is a story that made me reflect on appearance and what the perception of myself is to those around me.”

  2. ...She's probably one of Lebowski's little urban achievers

  3. Yeah, well, that's just, like, your opinion, man.