Do not disturb a man who’s sweating it out

Growled like a dog at a guy making noise in a sauna I was meditating in Tuesday.

Three times in a row, I gave him a dirty look, lifting my head from the bent, meditative pose staring long, hard seconds as he eventually quieted down. He was drinking water from a bottle. So he says. But it sounded more like he was bathing by splashing water on his arms and legs for some reason only God knows.

I couldn’t take it after a while. And I asked him point-blank what the noise was all about. “Yo man,” I posed, Rocky Balboa-style,” What’s all the noise about?” That’s when he said he was just drinking from the bottle.

Why, does it bother you?” he asked.

Yeah,” I replied. “I can’t hear the metal and coals burning.”

I had no idea what I had said. But, just then, you heard a crack, as if a coal was actually cracking on a fire. THAT was the sound that I had been focused on for a good 12 to 13 minutes before this tall, long-haired, lanky dude climbed to the back of the bleachers and set off sounds like he was celebrating the Fourth of July. (That’s loud explosive noises, for my Canadian friends. You too, my Lady Viv, of England.)Pipsqueak.jpg image by cinemagypsy

If the guy had said anything more right then and there, I would have killed him.

OK. Members of the jury. I didn’t mean that. I know that anything I say can be used against me to show a propensity for violence should I end up having to defend myself in real life against someone so rude, inconsiderate, lily-white, still wet-behind-the-ears, younger-than-an-X-generation-snot-nose. Not that there’s anything wrong with the majority of ’em. I got a kid from that group. And he’s pretty cool. Most of the time.

As a Buddhist, I could not take the life of a sentient being. But, I know, deep inside, I could  have decked this little creep. Even though he was a foot taller and out-weighed me.

I figured only a Wuss would come into a sauna wearing all of his clothes, drinking from a bottle while real men were sweating it out with only a towel to hide their private parts. He was “fully clothed.” Wearing sneakers, for Christ’ sake. Who taught him this? A sauna is a place to let impurities come to the surface and exit the body. You sweat up a storm. Spend 15 minutes in meditation, trying your best not to wipe your brow or shake a drip or two from your nose.


The guy left the sauna before any further action was needed. I spent another two to three minutes in silence with a fellow in his 40s. Now, he knew what life was all about.

Let sleeping dogs lie, especially if they’re old ones seeking a peaceful, dark, quiet place to “let it all hang out” without interruptions from some noisy “pipsqueak.”

9 comments on “Do not disturb a man who’s sweating it out

  1. Viv says:

    haha, indeed.
    I think the idea is we celebrate the fact that he didn’t succeed. I always found it a sad occasion, to celebrate a truly horrific death(he was hanged , drawn and quartered among other delights) when he was doing something he believed would save the country.
    But then I have always had a thing about heroic failures, being one myself!


  2. KoraKaos says:

    This reminds me of the story a rabbi of mine told- he was hit on by Tennessee Williams in the sauna when they were both young. (Also, Williams, for some reason, smoked cigars in the sauna, to add crazy enervation to enervation I suppose?) The rabbi ran away and took a shower… XD Can’t for the life of me remember the spiritual lesson that was supposed to go along with that story, though.


    • contoveros says:

      “Sometimes a cigar is not just a cigar?”

      “Stay away from a cat on a hot tin sauna?”

      Running to take a shower beats having to dance a “Tennesse Waltz” with Williams?”
      Take your pick for a moral to your story. Wow. Who would have thought he’d get off by hitting on a rabbi? Thanks for this thought for the day. KoraKaos. I hope to share this next time one of his plays comes up in conversation!I

      michael j


  3. Viv says:

    You’d love to visit the Thermae Springs Spa at the city of Bath, I think.
    I find people intensely annoying at times; sometimes they even breathe too loud.
    4th July(USA)= 5th November(UK) when we celebrate someone not managing to blow up parliament by letting off fireworks and having bonfires. Weird but we at least don’t have to wait so long for it to get dark to enjoy(??) the fireworks.
    They say depression is anger turned inwards but that said, I’d hate to turn my anger on anyone outside of my head.
    Congrats on the 500 mark.


    • contoveros says:

      Thanks, Viv.

      November 5th is your day, huh. I love the fact that you Brits celebrate an attempt to blow up your own government. It’s like some of us in New England that commemorate Shay’s Rebellion, which I believe had to be physically put down by then President George Washington when the feds try to tax booze in the 18th century.

      (see Your guy, Fawkes(no pun intended by the use of “your guy“) beat us by a couple of centuries. Now, that’s what I call turning your depression outward. Using it as anger!

      michael j


  4. Adrianne says:

    Hello Michael,
    Dear Bodhisatva-wanabe ~ Why doesn’t this one have an anger tag? Just curious.
    Let us know if you come to Tucson we can dance in the water together. No crunchy water bottles or clothing beyond a bathing suit, I promise 😉
    Warm Regards,


    • contoveros says:

      As a Buddhist, I could not take the life of a sentient being. But, I know, deep inside, I could have decked this little creep.”

      I added this extra line after cooling off. Actually, I had second thoughts after publishing this, but allowed the post to flow to show that meditation can be practiced anywhere under the most adverse conditions.

      Dance in the water together? You got it. Could I visit Tombstone Territory while we’re at it?

      Thanks, Adrianne.
      michael j

      Anger IS a poison I need to rid myself of more and more.


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