In just under three short years I have turned into everything I once despised. Having a weblog does at least keep you in touch with the way you betray your younger self and how old age makes you naught but a hypocrite.
You may recall that back in August 2003 I was upset by a naked man applying hand and face lotion to his bare buttocks
. Even my subsequent realisation that the stuff was in fact labelled hand and body lotion did not make up for the disgust I felt at having to witness this strange and unappealing spectacle.
And yet here we are in the future in March 2006 (how the 2003 me would have marvelled at this world filled wit iPods and satellite navigation systems which would only have appeared in the pages of sci-fi cartoon books back in those dark and unenlightened times) and what do I find myself doing? Applying hand and body lotion to almost my entire body. Not to my buttocks - not yet and I have the dignity of wearing a towel as I apply, but I have started putting lotion on other parts of my body than my hand, my face and my other hand, which would once have seemed a vain and pathetic thing to do. It started slowly a month or so ago, when I had got a bit too much lotion so applied it to my neck and upper torso to get rid of it, then on my next visit I decided to see how it would feel to moisturise my arms. The next time my stomach was brought into the routine and then my back. Over the last week or two I have started half heartedly doing my legs and occasionally when you're doing this the towel slips and if someone entered then they would see me nude, applying moisturiser to my whole body and I would be exactly the monster that I had seen back in August 2003. In fact now I wonder if what I was seeing was not another gym patron, but a vision of my own future of the grotesque monument to vanity that I would one day be. Perhaps that is fanciful. Perhaps.
But even the me of August 2003 would have been sickening to the me of three years before. The fact I was applying hand and body lotion to any part of my hand or body would have seemed anathema to me. "What have you become?" I would have asked myself if I had a telephone that would work through the ages and then again I would try and deflect the criticism to an even more future me "What have you become?" I would say to the leg moisturising me. Who in turn would ring up the me of 2008 who was cheerfully moisturising the inside of his eye-lids, his nasal passages and the first two inches of his anal canal, in a gym changing room for all (men) (who are members of this overly expensive gym) to see.
And maybe the 2008 me would say "Smooth. I have become smooth" but the 1995 me would look at the 2008 me's wrinkled face and laugh to himself as he touched his own young skin that did not need lotion ou unguent of any kind.
So I have become effeminate and vain, but at least I will never be like the man I saw at the sinks over by the showers who had put shaving foam all over his chin and all over his bald head and was about to shave his entire dome and jaw. He looked really stupid, like a big snowball. Thank God I am not the most ridiculous man in the gym.