Swimming for Putney-YMCA
Like many men I have always worried about my feminine side. The part of me that wears leather, cowboy hats and keeps silly dogs. Last year I bought a leather jacket. This year I have (for a trial month) joined the YMCA. Dont smirk. You can see where this is going. Sexual orientation in the third age, its the last taboo. The child bride and I have to decide who will change sex so that we enjoy the pleasures of a same sex civil partnership. Its so exciting. But first there is the pool.
25 meters long , deep down in the basement in the many tiered state of the art, fitness factory that is the YMCA just down the road from the British Museum. Next to the pool sauna and steam rooms.
Mid morning only a half a dozen in the four lanes. Good, not too warm temperature, not chlorine, under water lighting, blue tiles . Somehow, maybe its the lack of natural light, the other world atmosphere makes it easier to get into the all important bubble where the intrinsic boredom of doing laps can be defeated.
After the swim the sauna. Its a long time since I had one. Great, sweating without effort. But beware, this maybe where the contact is made, the line dancing takes place. In three visits, the only conversation is with a dumpy Japanese girl who is working in a coffee shop and wants to become a primary school teacher.
Having failed to meet any Young Men in the sauna I’m alert to the social possibilities of the changing room. I notice one or two swinging dicks, a lot of tattoos and quite a few pairs of Calvin Klein smalls. For God’s sake no eye contact, that way lies Aids and worse. There is music ,I wonder if they ever play Village People and if they do, does all Carnival break loose. Its mostly Abba and Rod Stewart. When Village People had its YMCA hit the organisation sued, settled out of court and eventually became great friends. Aint life grand.