An old guy passed me this afternoon on my walk. He was running at a pretty good clip for an old guy. I really only noticed him because he was wearing a pair of those tiny shorts and no shirt, and his chest hair was bright white. How crazy is it a dude that old is running so fast? I thought.
He turned ahead of me and disappeared over the hill, but then a few minutes later he reappeared, sprinting from a stand of trees.
I thought it was weird, because the road he came from was a short dead end, not worth turning down to run, and then he hitched up his pants and I realized it was because he’d just stopped to pee.
It was hot today — almost 90 — and by mile three, I was sweating heavily. The Columbia shirt I’d worn was doing a good job of wicking up the sweat, but the material was also chafing my nipples pretty badly, so I decided to unbutton and wear it open on the way home.
It wasn’t a decision I made lightly. I understood the optics of someone seeing a dude pushing a stroller, his shirt flapping open in the breeze, his sweaty beer gut exposed. But I thought of that shirtless old dude, his white chest hair flowing without care. He had the courage to be topless in public. Why couldn’t I? And frankly, my nipples felt like they’d been given an Indian burn, and the comfort would certainly outweigh the potential embarrassment.
Of course five minutes after I undressed, a car slow-rolled me, its passengers two teenagers with white backwards hats. They didn’t say anything or heckle me, but I could tell by their eye contact I’d be the topic of conversation for the next block.
I spent the next 10 minutes inventing comebacks if they HAD yelled something at me, the best of which was “piss off ya fuckin dorks,” “nice of your mom to loan you her car,” and the elegant but simple “fuck you.”
Man, they’re lucky they didn’t make another loop around the block. My chafed nipples and I would’ve been ready.