I have a day job, where I actually work in between blogging and stalking you on Facebook. And our suburban offices are located in an old community building. Picture, if you will, a Lions Club Hall with municipal restroom, a shared kitchen, our little non-profit offices and a big, old-timey hall where Boy Scouts have awards ceremonies and criminals attend traffic school. Often times we'll arrive at work to find charities selling Christmas wreaths from our front door or 10,000 cases of Thin Mints. And while it's a drain on my intolerant disposition, I've become used to the elderly tribal dancers who arrive at 4pm every other Thursday.
Last week, I arrived at my building early and unlocking the front door at 8am, headed straight to our offices on the right. I didn't even look down the hallway into the dark auditorium. It was early, I was groggy.
Deciding to clean up before a meeting, I grabbed my overflowing garbage can, headed back out to the hallway and flicked on the auditorium lights. Before me were 40 filled sleeping bags, their contents shifting away from the sudden aurora borealis I'd created.
I quickly flicked the lights back off and retreated to my office, my can still overflowing. Later in the morning, when one of our overnight guests came by to inquire about any WiFi in the building, I learned that the 40 sleeping bags were filled with college students bicycling across America to raise money for cancer research. Having come from Baltimore, they planned to spend the day resting (in my building) before making one final push across the Golden Gate Bridge to their finish line.
Many spent the day never moving from their sleeping bag and I could hardly blame them. Some headed to downtown Mill Valley to check their email and others sat on the front steps in front of my desk's window to call home and have incredibly personal conversations. A trip to the ladies room revealed that laundry was being done in our sink and a collection of bike shorts and sports bras were hung up to dry along the stall walls.
I am an uptight, conservative old lady who blow dries her hair and enjoys a certain thread count. But these crunchy kids were biking 4,000 miles to cure cancer and had every excuse in the world for turning our entire building into a marinating cloud of body odor. I smiled and waved when they passed, wishing them well and looking forward to their departure.
By the time my meeting ended and my boss had run off to a lunch date, I was looking forward to the fancy Andronico's sandwich I had chilling in the refrigerator. So I marched myself to that communal kitchen and opened the door.
"Oh, oh God. Wait one second." A woman's voice cautioned. But it was too late. There she stood at the kitchen sink, au natural. She was either washing some clothes or washing herself IN THE KITCHEN and she was naked as a newborn. Not even a sock graced her 22 year old body and I found the whole thing appalling.
"OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!!" I screamed, slamming the door.
I heard her laugh from within the kitchen. Because standing around a public building scrubbing your parts in someone's office kitchen is fucking hilarious.
I know, I know. I surprised myself with how grossed out I was, really because the bathroom is one thing...but the kitchen? It reminded me of the time I hung out with some friends of friends while they surfed and they just pulled off wetsuits to reveal naked bodies. Everyone just stood around having naked conversations and casually picking up a towel when they felt like it, spending far more time bending over looking for lip balm than covering themselves. All the while, I just sat there in the sand, staring at the ocean and wanting to kill myself.
The human body is a really beautiful thing, I'm sure you've heard. But when it's standing in your workplace kitchen, using a dish towel as a loofah and clearly, no razor, it's fucking bracing...