Just Talking About It

Yeah, I was embarrassed once. Isn’t everybody? I suppose if you really look at it though, who cares? I mean, if someone’s embarrassed, most of the time, nobody’s even noticed, and if they did, it really wasn’t THAT bad anyway. Not like you thought.

MOST of the time. Because, there have been a few times when, I have to admit, I did feel a little foolish, and probably looked it too.

Like the time we visited LA, and our son’s girlfriend, a rare actual LA Native, did a nice job arranging our lodging with a jammed packed week of fun and seeing the sites, booking us in a few different hotels “to give us a feel and a total LA experience;” first at the fifties “throwback” Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood and then The Standard, the upscale hotel in downtown LA, a magnet for young something professionals, complete with the rocking nightlife pickup lounge. When we moved in, I went to check out the roof, (in LA the roof is special, providing a hill top-like view of the city). I stepped off the elevator to a patio with expansive pool, surrounded by tables and chairs along the railings.

“What did you find on the roof?” my wife asked.
“Nice pool.”I answered. “Wanna go for a swim later?”
“Nah, you go ahead.”

So when 6:30PM arrived, I rode the elevator to the thirtieth floor, dressed in bathing suit and flip flops.
When the elevator doors opened, I was astonished to find the roof packed with hundreds of post work revelers, drinking and talking, the pheromones in overdrive. Just like the old tv commercial, it seemed the conversations stopped and heads turned when the elevator doors slammed behind me like partners in a cruel joke.

I wanted to scream and claw them open, or run to the stairs, but that would probably have made it worse. The place would have erupted. So, I pretended. Pretended I wasn’t the least bit embarrassed, and I do this all the time; swim, that is, in the middle of an LA after work cocktail hour party on the roof of one of the hippest hotels in the world.

I crawled, breast and side stroked, my white head cruising back and forth  across the surface of the water, while wondering how long I could keep up the nonchalant façade, or when everyone would come for a closer look and circle the pool.

But I went about my business, dried off, pushed the down button, and waited what seemed like my entire life for the elevator to arrive. The doors mercifully opened, and I was rescued, finally slipping out of the white hot stares. My embarrassment was over, but I bet they’re still talking, “Hey, they’re laughing, remember the time that guy came up and was swimming in the middle of our party?”

“Yeah,” the other would answer, “he must have been sooo embarrassed!”

We’ll buddy, I was embarrassed, and now, I’m still embarrassed just talking about it.

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