The Meaning of Pink
Now, my wife and I had been out sailing around the British Virgin Islands for a week. We had chartered a 32-foot sailboat from one of the chartering companies on Tortola, and we went out and lived on the vessel for six days, exploring as much of the BVI’s as we could.
And, while being on a sailboat in the Caribbean is Heaven in many ways, in one way, it not so idyllic. Taking a shower on a boat is difficult. First of all, there is a limited supply of water onboard. So showers have to be “boat showers”. You turn the water on to get yourself wet. You turn the water off while you lather up. Then you turn the water back on again to rinse off.
There is no luxuriating in a steaming stream of water. And, no matter how hot or muggy the conditions are, you are allowed only one shower per day, maximum.
Also, on a 32-foot sailboat, the head (bathroom) is the shower. And the head is usually a four-foot-square cubicle, and in that cubicle, there is a sink and a toilet too. That gives you about two square feet of floor space in which to take your shower. So, you have to pretty much be a contortionist in order to reach all the required areas of the body.
Then, add in the fact that you are on the ocean, and the waves, even when gently rolling, . . . are gently rolling. For uncoordinated folks like yours truly, bouncing around in a very confined space while trying to move your arms and legs in all different positions is a formula for smashing elbows and foreheads into immovable, very hard objects
And frequently falling on your ass is not out of the question either.
So, the day before our vacation came to an end, my wife and I pulled into the homeport, which was Sopher’s Hole, Tortola. We were going to go out to dinner that night, spend one more night on the boat, and then take a taxi to the airport for the long plane ride home.
But first, I was going to take a shower in the public showers that were provided to the customers of boat chartering company!
So I packed my soap, shampoo, washcloth, towel and a change of clothes into a gym bag, and I ran off to the public bathrooms. When I got there, I found a massive amount of construction taking place outside of the bathrooms. There were no workers there, however, because it was a Saturday. So I managed to navigate around all the freshly-poured cement, wooden braces and walls of plywood sheets, and I charged full-steam-ahead through the bathroom door and into the bright and shiny, tiled room.
To the back of the room, there was a wall with a walk-through gap about six feet wide with a sign reading “To Showers” overhead. I walked through that opening and found two more signs in front of me on the wall. One had an arrow pointing to the left that read, “Changing Room”. The other had an arrow pointing to the right, saying, “Showers”.
I felt the excitement pulsing through my body as I turned to the left, entered the changing room, and began stripping my shorts and my tanktop off just as quickly as I could! In just a few minutes, I would be luxuriating in a steaming hot, sudsy shower and letting all of the grease, grime, sweat and stickiness just roll off my body, and I would soon feel human again!
Then, I grabbed my washcloth, soap and shampoo, and I paraded, buck naked, past the six-foot opening and walked into the showers!
I must have spent a good fifteen minutes in the shower, breathing in the rich steam and feeling the pressure of the water jets massaging my muscles and coaxing them to relax and go slack. I really think I could stayed in there for an hour, but I knew better, and somewhere in the recesses of my little-used brain, I heard my Polish-Catholic mother lecturing me on the mortal sin of wasting water.
So I shut the thing off and went reaching for my towel.
Oh yeah. No towel. I left it in the changing room across the way along with my change of clothes.
So, I gathered up my soap, shampoo and washcloth, and started out crossing the hallway to the changing room.
And then something drew me up short. Just before I came to the opening that led out into the main bathroom, something made me stop walking.
What was it?
Voices. I heard voices. Somebody was out there in the main bathroom. More than one somebody. At least two somebodies.
So? What’s the big deal?
The pitch of the voices. That’s what the big deal was. The voices were higher than mine. They were almost like…WOMEN’S voices?
Then I noticed the color of the tiles that completely covered every square inch of every wall in the entire place – pink.
I’m standing stark naked in the women’s bathroom???? How the hell did THIS happen???
The massive amount of construction outside, that’s how! The forest of plywood out there must have obscured the “Men’s” and “Women’s” signs on the doors. (And, to be perfectly honest, I didn’t even look for them! I was just so excited that I was about to take a shower!!!)
I got down on my knees and sloooooowly, painstakingly peeked around the corner of the opening to main bathroom, and, sure as hell, three women were standing there in front of the mirrors, primping themselves and laughing and giggling for all they were worth!
I pulled my head back and looked to the changing room, which was way the hell over there on the other side of the open expanse that I would have traverse and hopefully not expose myself to the three unsuspecting chirping birds who were no more than thirty feet away from me! The changing room might as well have been in the next county.
What if one, or all three of those women, suddenly decided to come back and check out the showers????
I could see the headlines in the morning papers, “Connecticut Man Charged With Voyeurism And Exposing Himself To Women In A Public Bathroom.” Now THAT would look good on a resume, wouldn’t it?
I flattened myself against the pink-tiled wall, closed my eyes and willed the women to go away. Just go the fuck away! I didn’t do anything wrong! I’m a victim of circumstance! What would my Polish-Catholic mother think? Hell, if she thought wasting water a sin, she ain’t seen NOTHIN’ yet!!!!
PLEASE, ladies!!!! Just GO AWAY!!!!
And, do you know what?
After spending an eternity of five minutes in front of the mirrors, adjusting this, patting this and reshaping that, they all walked out!
I wasted no time! I stood up straight, poked my head out around the corner to make sure that the coast was clear, and then I streaked across the open expanse like my ass had flames shooting out of it. I slipped, fell flat on the aforementioned ass…hard…, slid across the wet, pink-tiled floor, and smashed into the pink-tiled wall of the changing room with all of the force of a runaway freight train.
It must have hurt like hell, but I felt nothing.
I scrambled to my feet, threw my clothes on, gathered up all my belongings, threw them into the gym bag, and then stampeded out of that place like a herd of Mongolian yaks.
When I got outside of the bathroom and was standing amidst all of the construction, I quickly glanced all around me.
There was nobody there.
The perfect crime!