Stuck in a Bathhouse with a Stranger


Even a Hussar Can Get His Heart Broken


Stuck in a Bathhouse with a Stranger.


I met her on the corner of East 10th an Avenue B. I was near the hookah lounge, and she was diagonally across from me. Technically, we were both on the corner, but she and I were on different ones.

Anyways, we met up on her corner because it was closer to our final destination, which was to be the Russian-Turkish baths that had stood in the same location for close to two hundred years.

Up the marble staircase and into the vestibule packed with people.

We had hardly said hello, and already we were in a steamy atmosphere shoved awkwardly against each other. I kept my arms stiffly at my sides so as to avoid any accidental groping.

We both gave our wallets to the receptionist as deposits, and I noticed the edge of a baby blue Trojan-enz condom sticking out of hers. I found this unorthodox and also slightly off-putting. The presence of this contraceptive proved that she was always ready to have sex, and yet probably she had never had a proper sexual experience, which explained why she did not know that the Trojan-enz is the industrial strength dishwashing glove of condoms. I was not yet ready to tell her that the rubber contraption is good only for making balloon rats at children’s parties.

Seriously, how could it be that not a single one of her previous sexual partners had told her that this was the thickest, most latex-smelling, least pleasant condom known to man?

I forgave her and felt a slight, involuntary stir in the downstairs department— only because I realized that I could have sex with her if I wanted to, and, most likely, could make her orgasm.

This was nothing; the fun was just about to start.

We each headed to the appropriate changing rooms after agreeing to meet immediately outside. In my changing room, a man lay naked on one of the soft massage tables near the wooden benches; the benches were shiny and smoothed by centuries of butts. His sparse pubic hairs were gray, and his penis looked wrinkled and disfigured from abuse or overuse. He was contentedly snoozing.


I quickly changed and rushed out to ensure that I would meet Evelyn from a prepared position.

I assumed a look of cool relaxation and pretended to busy myself with reading an article, which I had read before by an author of some repute about the pleasures of going to this particular bath house while completely stoned. As I ruminated on the curious effects of THC in a sauna, she came out. Her body was of an unfortunate shape that could only be described as Classically Unattractive. Small breasts, large shoulders that created the illusion of a flat mountain face sloping down to wide hips, and an indifferent behind. And then, as she turned to close the door of the changing room behind her, she revealed a sizeable brown mole on the left half of her lower back.

I wasn’t enjoying myself at all. The bathhouse was crowded, and the Turkish chamber was standing room only. A giant man was being soaped and scraped with coarse sponges on a marble slab. The Russian room was a depressing bunch of radiators emitting steam heat in a sweaty room— it smelled like hot dust. It was basically a New York City apartment with fifty radiators set to overzealous. The cold pool was pond-deep and the temperature of cooled pee.

An older woman’s breast escaped her one-piece bathing suit as she lifted her arms in the shower. I looked at Evelyn, and she did not enjoy this as much as I did.

After several iterations of Russian room, Turkish room, ice pool, and shower, I finally pretended to feel woozy— even though I can spend an entire day in a bathhouse.


Evelyn and I parted, and even if she had been kidnapped by pirates I would never know because we never communicated again.

She was the Hussar and I was the stranger, in case anyone was wondering.