After two hours of excellent basketball on Friday, I hit the shower in the locker room. While I hear that women’s showers generally have private booths for showering, the men just herd up like cattle in one open room. So I’m showering, naked, as I often do, when a fellow basketball player walks in and pops on the shower four feet away from me.
There’s nothing unusual about any of this; it’s a routine we’ve done a hundred times. There’s usually not too much talking in the shower. This is simply a function of acoustics — the small room is an echo chamber, making it difficult to hear anything clearly.
But as I shaved my head under the hot water, my fellow player spoke.
“So did your guy win the other night?” he asked.
Our post game banter usually sticks to scripts where we are known to share common ground, things like the weather or ski trips we’re planning, so I was a bit surprised by his question. He knew nothing of my preferences and I knew nothing of his (though his phrasing “your guy” gave me a flashback to “that one”).
I paused for a moment and applied some more shaving lotion. I figured we were already naked, right?
“Yes, he did,” I replied.
He smiled and his voice rose.
Granted, I do not know this man well, but we are well-acquainted. In the moment of his reply, he was as joyful as I’d ever seen him.
And I felt pretty happy, too.