Monday, July 21, 2008

The Arcata Sauna Shed--Part I







Perched haphazardly on the edge of one of the crummy lounge chairs, PP stares in spite of herself. She doesn’t want to watch him as he rolls up first one plaid pant leg and then the other, his mottled face and shaggy hair out of a horror film. Or one of Josh Emmons' (see above cutie pic) effortlessly captured Eureka Characters ala The Loss of Leon Meed. Or what must be a prevalent element here in Humboldt County—- A Prime Suspect Druggie Psycho Killer.

Okay, she knows this is a little extreme. But he definitely was a weirdo. At least upon first stare after PP finished her blissful but slightly chilly swim in the lovely Arcata Pool, now soaking up the warmth of the hot tub with the Blind Man and another couple innocuous swimmers. (Yes, there is a Blind Man that swims at the Arcata pool. Has PP written about him before? ) She hasn’t actually ever seen him in the pool, only in the Hot Tub, but he was here the last time she visited. His vacant eyes and sagging jowl scaring her too. What is it about Humboldt?




It’s different than Oakland. Though she thinks that often the swimmers at the Y seem blind for the number of times they run into her. But that’s another blog.

And Druggie Psycho Killer most probably isn’t one. But yet….he does give her the creeps. It’s that unnameable feeling that all single women feel at one time or another. Weirdoes. They abound and they always like PP. She has a very high Weirdo Magnet. Hopefully, today the DPK and the Blind Guy won’t pick up on it.

“Did you have a good swim?” Dashingly Handsome Boyfriend grins over at her as he plops into the tub.
“How are you?” The Blind Guy asks.
“Fine, fine….” DHBF answers, giving PP a wink.

He’s so good at the weirdoes. But then again, he’s a guy. And a tall white guy at that. So the weirdoes don’t threaten him like they do PP.

Also, he’s nice. Which PP often isn’t.

Even to a Blind Guy.

“I’m gonna go check out the sauna,” she announces to DHBF, who nods.
“Have a nice day,” the Blind Guy calls after her.



Shaking her head, PP starts to giggle. It is funny. A Blind Guy in the Hot Tub, just trying to be friendly. Hell, he’s probably got a very lonely life. The pool and hot tub are his big adventurous social outing for the day.

Yet, eyeing the Sauna Shed from the outside , (for this is what it looks like: literally a garden ‘shed’ that you'd expect to find old tools, a dilapidated lawn mower and 20 year old bags of half used fertilizer), when she enters, and it is after all, a sauna, with nice wooden benches and a pungent eucalyptus aroma, PP is pleasantly surprised. Sometimes that old cliche of 'appearances can be deceiving' is really true. Though usually not. PP is all for snap judgements made upon first impressions. It serves her well, esp. when she's cranky and hostile and unfriendly. Which is always when it comes to weirdoes.





“Ahhhh….” she murmurs to herself, settling onto the top bench and leaning back into the toasty wooden wall. The hot air feels so good. Plus it’s so calm in the shed. No Blind Guy. No Psycho Druggie Guy. Just her and the soothing heat.

PP closes her eyes for a moment to let the warmth wash over her. Relaxing. What a concept. Her Bay Area life is so hectic and tense all the time. Maybe she doesn’t need to whine about it in her blog today, but hell, it was so good to get away!

“Hiya!” the sauna door pops open and DHBF strides in. “Wow. This is nice.”
”Yeah, surprising huh?”
“Yeah….”
Smiling over at him, PP sighs. Yes it is nice to get away she thinks again. Closing her eyes once more, she drifts back into spacey heat when she hears the door open and then a creaking on the bench below her.

Damn. Who could that be? Did the Blind Guy make it over to the Sauna Shed?

Opening one eye, PP peers out under her wet lashes, hoping against hope that her Weirdo Magnet is off. Yet she knows better. It's always on High. Esp out of town.

And especially at the pool. Or in the Sauna.

"How's it going?" he asks, settling down on the lower bench opposite PP and DHBF.

Glancing over at DHBF, PP sighs. Maybe he'll do all the talking?
Hell this is one thing she can count on as she settles back into the warm wooden wall to watch the show......

~to be continued~

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