The Naked Meeting

So then… the alarm rings for the third time in my Manhattan apartment, indicating I’m very late for work, so I lurch out of bed and scurry to the shower in the kitchen.

Yes, our shower is in the kitchen.

There is a red door in our tiny kitchen that opens to a closet-sized space that contains a bathtub-shower and a toilet that are so close together, you literally have to put one leg in the bathtub when you sit on the toilet. There is no sink. To brush teeth or wash hands, you must exit the “closet” to use the kitchen sink.

But we consider ourselves lucky because this is a 2-bedroom apartment in New York City – and as young, struggling career girls in our 20s, my roommate Stacy and I can actually afford the rent!

Granted it’s a 5th floor walk up (as in, no elevator) and there are some murky lurky creatures skittering up the pipes occasionally, but hey – it’s Gramercy Park-adjacent, for Pete’s sake!

(At the open house, I still vividly remember the superintendent opening the door at 6:00 am as dozens of us pushed through the door in the hopes of snagging the apartment. As we crammed into the small space, a na├»ve young woman pointed to the red door in the kitchen and asked, “Is that the pantry?” The whole room of hardened New Yorkers erupted into laughter. Even I, a sweet Southern transplant to the City, had to admit that it was pretty damn optimistic for her to think this space-constrained NY apartment would have room for a food pantry in the kitchen – it was most likely a bathroom – and yup, I was right. And a sink-less one at that.)

So I zip into the kitchen to yank open the bathroom door, but I hear running water – so I realize Stacy must be in the shower. I knock loudly to indicate the urgency with which I must cleanse myself in order to get to work on time, but she doesn’t respond.

So I open the door – and there in the shower is a naked man.

Now normally I wouldn’t object to a naked man in the shower, but this is not my naked man.

I have never seen this man before – naked or clothed.

He shampoos his hair.

I pause. I frown, trying to make sense of this sight.

He keeps washing.

If he is a rapist, he is certainly a clean and hygienic one.

Utilizing my keen communications skills, I say, “Umm… ?”

He says, “Oh, hey, I’m a friend of Stacy’s. I met her at the bar last night.”

I swiftly shut the door.

Naked Guy certainly has a fast and loose interpretation of the word “friend” if the length of their relationship has comprised less than 24 hours.

Although, I suppose if he spent the night in her bedroom having hot-crazy-sexy-time, then I guess that could qualify as being pretty “friendly.”

I march over to Stacy’s bedroom. We have a strict “no one-night-stands in the apartment” policy – if you want the hot-crazy-sexy, you need to go to the guy’s place.

So I swing open her door to throw a fit – but she is not there.

She is not anywhere.

Omigod, I think. He has killed her and thrown her body in the garbage chute. And now he’s taking a quick spritz, then he will kill me too.

I grab the phone and call her office. Before she even says, “Hello,” I stage whisper, “Where the hell are you? There’s some naked guy in the shower!!”

“Yeah, that’s Rick.”

“Stacy, why is Rick here and you are not here!?” I squawk through clenched teeth.

“Sorry – but I had an early meeting and he didn’t want to get up so early, so I just told him to leave when he was ready,” she says.

“But we said no one-night-stands in the apartment! And certainly don’t leave when the one-night-stand is still here! There’s some stranger walking around our apartment while you’re at work and I’m sleeping in the next room? That is so not cool, Stacy!”

She says, “Well, when you put it like that… “

“OK, and now I have to go to work — and what if Naked Guy is still not ready to leave? Were you thinking he would just hang out in our apartment while we’re out – some guy you met at a bar last night? What if he steals something? What if he’s here when we come home from work? What if he moves in and we can’t make him leave? What if he’s a professional squatter?” My voice rises with hysteria.

“Excuse me,” a deep male voice says behind me.

I whirl around to see Naked Guy wrapped in a towel. I’m mortified that he might have heard me impugn his reputation.

But then I think, Wait, why do I feel guilty? He’s the one overstaying his welcome!

So then he says, “Well, I don’t want to overstay my welcome… “

And I think, Holy Shit, he’s a psychic! He’s a psychic rapist murderer Naked Guy!

I just stare at him.

He calmly walks into Stacy’s bedroom, gets dressed, comes out to say “Have a good day” and leaves.

It would be so cool to end this story by saying, “And that’s how I met my husband.”

But, in fact, neither Stacy nor I see Naked Guy again.

I mean we’ve seen naked guys since then, but not that particular Naked Guy.

With rattled nerves, and a nagging fear that he might return to jiggle the doorknob, I hastily undress, take a shower, throw on my clothes, and cab it to work.

When my boss asks why I’m late, I give her an exasperated look and say, “Strange Naked Guy in my shower.”

She nods knowingly and gives me a jaded “what’re ya gonna do” shrug, as though such a visitation is a common occurrence in bathrooms throughout the metropolis.