There was always a sense of rush whenever I arrive in the gym. I'd go straight in the locker room, change clothes, do my routine, cool down a bit after, hit the sauna for a few minutes, shower and then off to my next schedule.
But him, I always see him there. Most of the time inside the changing area, or in the sauna, or in the steam room. He would stand there in a corner pretending to watch the television, but if you look closer, you'll notice his eyes are always restless, waiting for something. Or looking. As boys and men strip to gear up for workout or office or school, his eyes roam the area.
Always he wears that long white towel around his waist, emphasizing more his melon-like bulging stomach. His skin a little wrinkled. He's probably twice my age, possibly older than my father. He's bald. His face always connotes a sly smile, at some point evilish, always scheming.
In those times that I passed by him, I noticed he was always catching my gaze. During the first few times, I would look at him straight in the eye with my infamous devilish stare which literally translates to "fuck off or I'll strangle your neck." But he didn't budge. Instead he just smiled and made me feel more awkward. So the next time, I found myself trying in all my might not to throw even a glance towards him.
At one point, after finishing a tough workout, I went straight in the sauna to relax a bit before covering a basketball game. As I sat inside, I noticed I wasn't alone. He was there, sitting in that dank, dark corner again flashing that devilish smile of his. I tried ignoring him. I closed my eyes as I tried immersing myself in a far away thought. But I was unsuccessful.
He moved and positioned himself closer to me. From that, I was already building a plan inside my head. I thought the moment he touch me, I will punch him in the face and drag his ass all the way to the reception area and report him. But he didn't do anything except from that point, he made annoying sounds using his mouth. Smacking his lips, rolling his tongue continuously - of course I knew what he was trying to convey for clearly I wasn't born yesterday.
When I opened my eyes and looked straight down at him, there's that smile of him again, his tongue gliding around his ugly lips disgustingly.
It was too much for me. I tried my best restraining myself from being violent. Instead, I stood up. But before I could reach the door, I said "fuck you" in the coldest, hate-filled manner I could muster.
The following days, he was no longer trying to catch my gaze. But as I quietly observe I noticed a few things from other gym-goers. Some of the boys, whenever "old pervert guy" enters the sauna, would not hide their annoyance and would immediately leave. Some would even roll their eyes.
I also saw him going after a guy but was blatantly rejected. One time, there were these two guys hitting at each other inside the sauna. And so I left to give them their well deserved privacy. Then came "old pervy guy" and in a snap, the two boys left the sauna room and head for the showers. But "old pervy guy" did not stop them. He followed them and stood there in front of the shower door breaking the "force field" between the two. But the most disgusting thing is when, at the corner of my eye, while I was changing clothes in the locker room, I caught him removing his towel, intentionally flashing his ---- that I can't even talk about. It was way worse than nightmare.
From then on, I looked at him like a vile creature. Someone who should just disappear so the world will be a happy place again. But then, pity. I don't know how to say it, but I kinda feel sorry for him. But again, that as another arrogant thing for me to say.
I wonder, if he happens to be a young gorgeous looking guy, would he get the same treatment he's getting? Is he far from guys of my age getting blowjobs and handjobs inside the sauna or the steam room? And then for some reason, those question makes me sad.
I still see him in the gym. And I still don't like him. But I don't know. There's something different that even up to now, I don't know what it is.
Yesterday, while changing inside this private changing stall in the locker room, I noticed a new vandal, in bold, saying: "DAPAT HINDI PINAPAYAGAN SA SAUNA/STEAM YUNG MATANDANG BAKLANG PANGET."
I never know what to make of it. But I thought, maybe it is true. That this world we're living in was never never kind. Hopefully I'm wrong.