TV in the Locker Room

Nice, quiet. 80s pop whispers through the sound system. It’s room phone

I’m drying myself from the celebrated post-workout shower.

I love this feel. I’m energized. I feel alive but at peace. It’s one of my favorite parts of the day. I’m in a locker room.

Then I hear it. The locker room door swings open. Overweight huffs and puffs stomps in and takes hold of the remote to flash on the TV. Local news! Loud local news! Louder local news!

A newscaster tells us about the newest, greatest deal. I can’t see the screen, but apparently the anchor has climbed into a box to show the size of the product. His colleagues laugh, and they shout remarks in my ear.

Landlines are a dwindling breed, but the YMCA locker room has one, and it looks a lot like the one my family had 30 years ago. Beige. It sits along with some Sports Illustrated magazines on tiny table between two chairs. It’s the extent of our locker room lounge.

I hear TV man plop his gym bag down on one chair and plop himself in the other leather chair, I hear TV man lift the phone receiver from its resting spot, and he punches the buttons.

“Hey!” he shouts into the phone. “Huh?” he shouts again. He continues to shout “huh?” as a response to everything said by the person on the other line.

“This is me time! Me-me time!” And then, “Huh?”

I look up at a locker room buddy. We exchange eye raises and head shakes.

“No swim swim Saturday!” he shouts and the morning news noise increases. “Children! Saturday! Swim swim!”

I continue getting dress, and the phone shouting takes a strange turn.

“Nah! He likes the expensive stuff! Molson!”

With News Channel 3 blaring sensationalized stories of celebrity intrigue and TV man shouting into the phone, my pleasant locker enjoyment shatters into shards annoyance.

I don’t bother with my tie and instead make my way from the locker room. I peek at TV man, who looks to be enjoying his loud self quite leisurely.

The locker room door closes behind me, and I take a moment. It’s quiet again. Berlin’s Take My Breath Away plays quietly through the hall.

I’m back on track.