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Naked Old Men At The Gym.

I guess I define my place in society as somewhere along those fine margins - the place where fitting in with humanity is more of an act of design, than natural character. But this is cool with me, because I figured out many moons ago, that deep inside, no human being views themselves as exactly the same as anybody else; a commonality we all share, ironically. Therefore it is a strange sort of reality, that virtually all humanity are in fact internally living along the same edges of what we consider obtuse expression - whilst promoting the exact opposite on the outside. It is by no means an all encompassing truth, but I have never met anyone yet, who did not omit even the smallest speck of a true individual spirit; desperately trying to escape through the glass barriers of a quite natural, biologically deep-rooted fear of social rejection.

A couple of days ago I was in the Uxbridge Fitness First changing rooms, after a typical Monday morning workout. Invigorated from the surge of endorphins, a sight burned before my eyes which I never wanted to see, but am kind of glad I did; a skinny white male, at least 65 years of age, and happy as Larry on a particularity peachy day, was whistling to himself as he cleaned his wrinkled old body, using nothing but a gym hair-dryer. He was thorough in his work... and yes, this means exactly what your twisted mind imagines as you read.

Watching him, I wasn't disgusted, or sickened - well, maybe a little. But the overriding emotion I felt was an odd form of admiration. This is the same guy who strolls around the gym floor in all manner of tacky sloganed t-shirts, while wearing shorts so tight, they would make men at the fictional Blue Oyster club blush. As I studied this guy (mentally, I didn't spent ages watching him), I realised he has probably experienced such an abundance of what this life has to offer, he has reached the point of simply not giving a shit any more about pretending to adhere to the social norms, and merely embraces his own; reality is, in essence - his own, as he moves with the beat of his own drum.

My respect of common decency is well developed, but my passionate faith in open, true individuality and self-expression is a hell of a lot stronger. I live within social norms to a degree because it is in many ways a mask of acceptance, as much as an act of respect to others. But I don't know, it gets harder and harder to fake it. I have no wish to harm or hurt anybody; thankfully I find myself to be a compassionate, empathetic person, but I just want to live this life as more of a celebration than a boring, monotone ritual - even though I love the comfort of routine. And to do this, the margins of rejecting conformity need to swing a little more in my favour - I guess it all comes from the internal security of both maturity, and accepting life for simply being whatever we see it as.

So if I wish to munch on Tuna fish from a can in a changing room, I will. If I wish to discuss my love of Pro-Wrestling to anyone who wishes to listen, I will. If I want to run when all else walk, speak when there is silence, dance when there is serenity, sometimes I may do. But I still don't have it in me to clean my naked, exposed bollocks with a hair-dryer, whilst whistling the theme tune to The Littlest Hobo. I guess I am not as openly close to the margins as I once imagined. Oh well, plenty of time to go...

Lee.

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