Posts Tagged ‘you meet the strangest people’

The Social Filter

October 26, 2010

We all have this part of our brain that helps us in dealing with other people.  The part of our brain that censors what we really want to say and turns it into an “Oh, how nice”.  Or a, “My, that’s interesting”.  Or, sometimes best, a dignified silence.

When my brother had brain surgery, he had that part of his brain removed.  This included his social filter.  Instead of being quiet or using a suggestive phrase like, “My, what an interesting hairstyle”, he’d come right out with a “Who took a hacksaw to your hair?  That looks awful!”

I became a bit concerned that my social filter was failing me recently.  It was in the shower at the gym.

Okay, first off, there are some unwritten rules of bathrooms and gym showers.  For example, no staring at the other guys junk, even if it is shaped funny or notably big/small.  And no initiating conversation in either place unless you’re REALLY good friends with the guy.*

So after a workout (forgive the exaggeration), I wander into the shower where there are two guys already finishing up.  After they leave, I’m alone for a bit.**  Soon, one other guy comes into the shower.  A stranger.

As he walks by, I can’t help but notice his right shoulder… there seems to be some scratches… 4 of them… about 4 inches long… the distance between the scratches about that of a slightly opened hand…

That looks like someone – – a female? – – had a passionate moment that was expressed exuberantly with fingernails.

Hmmm…

My mind wants to ask.  My mind demands to ask.  My social filter falters for a second and I draw in a breath to ask.

But I don’t.  I look away and tend to cleaning the sweat off of my brow.

Still, I can’t help but look again as he’s turned the opposite direction.  And there on his flank?  Another set of scratches… about 3 inches long… 4 of them… the distance between each about that of a slightly opened hand…

My mind again demands I ask.  Pleads that I ask.  My social filter does another hiccup and I draw in breath to ask.

…and again let my question sit unasked.

Hell, all I was going to do if he confirmed was give him props!  Wasn’t going to ask if he had to get a tetanus shot… or ask for her phone number***…

But that’s still uncool.

I finished my shower.  I left.  I’ll never know.

And that is cool.

it just looks like me... but it's not... or is it?

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*One guy in my office I’ve known for some 10 years used to be a pilot long ago.  If I’m standing at a urinal when he comes into the bathroom, he always hollers, “Log that stick time!”  Yeah, I’ve known him for 10 years, but this still qualifies as inane conversation and is weird.

**No, in case you’re wondering, that doesn’t give me license to do anything either.  Nor did I, for those who went ahead and asked the question anyway.

***Actually, that doesn’t turn me on.  A well timed clench?  Yeah, baby.  Very hot and exciting.  Actually drawing blood and leaving long scratches?  Not so much… my inherent kinkiness goes in other directions.  Besides, I’m not one to Bogart another guy’s female companion… without permission, anyway.