FEELINGS, NOTHING MORE THAN FEELINGS

FEELINGS, NOTHING MORE THAN FEELINGS

Bad news from the locker room: it looks like the perpetually naked guy at my gym has now become the perpetually naked singing guy. Every time I go to the gym, I see him, looking naked and unattractive and not wearing any clothes. Let me just say that I think being comfortable naked is a great thing. But I also think being too comfortable naked is very, very bad. Perpetually naked guy is probably in his mid-30s, about 5’6″, very muscular, African-American, completely hairless and – and I say this only because his defining characteristic compels me to – has a large, misshapen penis. He stands by the showers, he stands by the blow dryers, he stands by his locker, he walks back and forth, he talks to people. And he does all of these things naked and with a large, misshapen penis. Now he sings, too. “Feelings”, no less. Loudly.

There’s nothing unusual or unnecessary about locker room nudity in theory. I totally understand a person’s need to get naked to take a shower. It helps you clean everywhere; it keeps your clothes dry. And without going too much into his psychology, I think it’s pretty obvious why Perpetually Naked Guy feels the need to stay naked after showering while stretching, posing, applying lotion, striking up conversations with strangers and belting out schmaltzy 70’s ballads. The thing that always surprises me is how overly willing other, seemingly normal people are to indulge Perpetually Naked Guy. “Well, you’re in a good mood today!” said one Briefly Naked Guy to Perpetually Naked Guy this morning. “I just feel like singing!” came the reply. And then another verse. It reminds me of the “Simpsons” Halloween episode where the billboards come to life and start trashing Springfield, until everyone realizes that the way to make them go away is to stop paying attention to them. But stupid Homer just can’t look away from the enormous donut, dooming the entire town to more torment. So why do people encourage Perpetually Naked Guy?

It’s not what you may think. I started going to this gym specifically because it was a “straight” gym, or at least as straight as a gym can be in LA. I got tired of seeing guys who were too comfortable naked and way too comfortable jerking off in the showers. (Yes, I witnessed it. Twice.) And I can’t be the only one who feels this way about Perpetually Naked Guy. If a guy like me, who let me assure you, is extremely pro-naked men, gets this creeped out by Perpetually Naked Guy, I can only imagine how much he creeps out the straight guys — you know, guys who are creeped out by any naked man, much less a perpetually naked one with a large, misshapen penis. The only reason I can think of to explain why he’s such a popular guy, why his overtures for attention are consistently reciprocated, is that people must think of him like they do of the disabled. Most people tend to be overly nice to the disabled. You don’t want to be rude and dismissive to a guy who’s missing a couple of limbs and make him think you’re uncomfortable. I guess people feel the same way about guys with large, misshapen penises.

So far, I’ve managed to avoid Perpetually Naked Guy and never had to talk to him myself. I have my tricks. Get in and get out of the locker room fast. Choose a locker far, far from his. And never ever ever make eye contact. That’s how you become his friend. That’s how he draws you into his *penis* web. How he remembers you from week to *penis* week and says, “Hey, how ’bout those *penis* Yankees?” “Did you have a good *penis* workout?” “Feelings, nothing more than *penis* feelings!!!!”

Don’t get me wrong, though. He’s not a bad singer.

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