I’m homeless so shower at the free pool. Scrub scum and cum. I swim then shower. Often just the latter. I’m not the only one. The pool is a magnet for people like me. It’s a spring fed encasement with an open air changing room. Trails abut so it’s heavily trafficked. Stroller moms flit through but bums and weirdos populate the place. One is old as hell but has a massive hog. I call him Mr. Missile due to his Reagan-era extremity. I come three or four times a week to shave and shower. Wipe winter’s grease. Swim the pool, hike the trail, make myself clean. Attempt normalcy or at least some semblance of it.
There’s those you’d never suspect to be homeless. I only know because I’m one of them. Because I see them here so often. In the shower and by the cars they live in. Our commonality stays unspoken. A head nod but nothing more. We’re just here so our assholes won’t itch. There’s no need for chatter when you’re naked. To be unseen is the aim.
I melt into the regular world as a nobody. Have a car to sleep in and money to feed me. Show no signs of distress. Only the lifeguards know what lies beneath. That I’m a cockroach. That’s how I like it. Then there’s those with outward markers. They embody the usual signs and stereotypes: Ratty clothes, multiple bags, chatting with themselves, etc.
I keep a catalog of characters but they’re boring. We stay to ourselves. Scrub teeth and squeeze cysts. Shower and leave. In and out. A clean routine. But one man broke the unspoken code of silence. Someone who couldn’t slip unseen to the civilian world.
One night I caught wind of words coming from the shower. An ever escalating rant. I sat on a bench, freshly showered, transcribing what was said. Taking in tangents. They started calm then boiled to anger. I couldn’t see the man behind the curtain. Still, his voice boomed out to the open like Oz.
“This water stinks like shit.”
To me it seemed fine though people piss on the floor. A thousand strangers emptying their dicks. I’m ever thankful it’s not the other substance that pours from that appendage. His next complaint landed more in line with my own experience.
“Gonna freeze my balls off trying to get clean.” He didn’t jump out but rather carried on. “Now I gotta break into someone’s house just to take a shower.” It seemed a reasonable conclusion.
He recalled some moment, real or imagined, by imitating a woman’s voice. “Oh there’s body wash in there.” He switched back to the angry tenor and screamed “No there’s not you stupid fucking bitch!” I wondered who’d win the argument.
Myself, the bums, and some seniors sat in silence listening to his diatribes. They stretched on and on. Winding down then up again. I was bone dry and dressed. Had no reason to be here. But I wanted to know where it’d go. What this man looked like.
In time the schizo dude stepped from the shower. He was young, maybe my age, but with a much better figure. I admired his abs, even his cock. It didn’t shrink and shrivel from cold. If only I could install my brain in this body. Take control of that cock.
To the old men, to no one, he strayed from cold water to a question of sex. “Girls like the body more than the dick. Wanna know why?”
“It’s all about getting off for them.” He laughed at this then carried on. “I’m gonna get some Mexican ass. Purebred Mexican.” The seniors sat silent. We all knew the man was disturbed. That to engage could only spell trouble.
Most folks scattered but a few remained. I stared at my phone but there was no need to act inconspicuous. He carried on despite no external stimuli or response to statements. After ranting about a gas station and imaginary girlfriend he returned to sex. To another address for the room.
“Alright y’all I’m gonna pull as much pussy into this city as I can tonight. Better get your dicks ready.” My dick sat limp. Washed but not ready for women accrued by a schizophrenic hobo with a fat hog. In case we worried there wasn’t enough to go around he stated that “There are over a million pussies in the world.” It seemed an adequate amount for those that remained: Bums, seniors, and a schizo dude.
Everyone left except the two of us. With no audience he more or less canned it. Groomed himself and packed belongings. Perhaps the monologue turned internal. To me this was novel. To him a carbon copy. I’m sure his sickness put him on the streets. For me it was a conscious choice. That difference was clear. So stark and striking.
With him piped down there was nothing left to do. I’d been here for at least an hour. It was time to go. I could linger no longer. Had to return to my own life. The one where I too was homeless. Where I felt thankful my mind kept me tethered. At least I had that.
I wished the man a good night. He bade the same as if all were normal. Perhaps to him it was. I couldn’t know his inner workings. The way his world slipped through reality. An intersecting universe. I struck out into the night, my dick on the sniff for its promised pussy. I didn’t see a single woman, much less a million. They were nowhere to be found. Just cold air and a car to sleep in.