I didn’t grow up rich, but as a kid I used to stay in rich-people hotels in Chicago with my parents. Why we did this is another story entirely involving craps, the band Megadeath, and a horrible craving for Ritz burgers.

No no no, don’t get the wrong idea, that I had a wildly privileged country club youth. I was then and am now firmly middle-class, and the Ritz Carlton has faded into a fuzzy, somehow embarrassing part of my childhood.

So all I ever wanted to do in these rich hotels was swim. And the Ritz has this palatial, dome-roofed lap pool. To get there, you have to walk through a locker room filled with wet saunas and Q-tip jars on vanities and hair blowers.

Inevitably the locker room was also filled with old, crinkly women completely in the nude, just hanging out after water aerobics. Hordes of them prancing around from the wet sauna to the shower, diffusing hair or putting on earrings. Nobody wore a towel, I supposed because these women were filthy rich. I reasoned that, when you very likely had bathtubs full of money back home in Aspen, why would you need to hide behind terry cloth robes with embroidered lions on the breast?

Today at the gym, I walked in the locker room and right in front of me there was a woman, naked and sort of prancing between the lockers. In the locker room, women are naked all the time. And it’s a really beautiful thing. All this skin of all these colors come in different shapes and moves differently. We all become one woman somehow, which feels very honest.

But this lady today, the way she was arched and fluttering around put my mind back into my body as a kid. I’m at the Ritz, wearing a bathing suit with a big pineapple on the front, trying to tip toe around a happy-sad parade into cool, deep water.

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