Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Captain GB’s Swim Team

“So, I got a call from the principal’s office today.” Capt. GB sighs wearily.
PP grins from behind the sumptuous Hot Tub bubbles, “Really?”
“Yeah, J bit someone.”
Giggling, PP nods. “That sounds like a good story.”
”Oh, yeah.”
”Why did he bite someone?”
”Turns out that this other kid had him in a choke hold and it was the only way, according to J, that he could escape.”
”Sounds like biting the kid was a good idea.” PP laughs.
“Yeah, you know I thought the same thing. Thing is, I can’t let J know that I think it.”
”Why not?”
”It’s just not a good thing when your kid goes around biting other kids. Even though I’m not surprised. J told me a few weeks ago that there was a Bully in the class. And I saw this kid. He’s big. “
“And mean!”
”Exactly!”
“Where did it happen? On the playground?”
”That’s what I thought, but then when I finally talked to his teacher, she said it was in the classroom.”
”Where was she?”
“Oh, she was there. She just turned around for a second and then WHAM! The Bully puts the chokehold on J and J bites him!”
PP laughs again, delighted. Capt. GB tells such funny stories about her kids. Of course, PP knows that the biting child is probably not really a laughing matter. But it sure sounds funny. “So, guess you’ll hafta talk to J and tell him it’s not okay to bite other kids, right?”
”Yeah.”
”How do you do that without laughing?”
Capt B lets out a short snort. “It’s hard. Believe me. Especially when I think J’s not all wrong in the matter.” Sighing, Capt G glances over at the pool, now lit magically in the growing darkness like a white rectangular diamond.
“Look at the moon!” PP points through the darkening pines as a golden crescent moon rises behind the fog.
“Wow. That’s cool. You ready for a swim? “
“Sure,” PP nods, “I just need to go the bathroom first. Where are they again?”
Capt B explains as she takes off her glasses and gathers up her fins and cap. “See ya in the water.”
”Yeah, I’ll be right there.”

PP tries not to trip over the dark wooden steps on her way to the bathroom. She loves this Harbor Club Pool in Alameda where she gets in for free on the last Friday of the month courtesy Capt. G, but it is rather dark. And wet. Someone’s got a hose snaking into the bathroom. Damn, PP mutters. She really hadda go to the bathroom and didn’t want to try to navigate her way back to the main inside ones. Oh well, she’ll just follow the hose and see if it’s a man or a woman at the other end. Though why this would make a difference, she isn't sure. Either way, the hosing would probably mask the peeing!

Peering inside the restroom, she sees the back of a guy hosing out the showers. Damn. How’s she gonna go to the bathroom with a guy in here? Backing out, PP notes the line of urinals on the wall. Ummm….that’s odd. Urinals in the ladies room? Glancing at the signage on the door, PP discovers that she’s been skulking around the men’s room and not the woman’s. Jeeez! That Hot Water musta go to her brain to walk into the wrong restroom. Or was it the moon?

PP’s glad that the Hosing Guy didn’t see her. Why, she’s not exactly sure as she turns around and finds the ladies room right next door. Whew! And no one here. Great. Plopping down on the toilet, PP shivers. She’ll hafta get back into the hot tub again before the big pool to warm up.

Making her way back out in the dark, PP notes the Hosing Guy out on the lawn now, spraying away. A dark lumbering form, startled from under a lounge chair? sprints, if raccoons can sprint? across the wet dark lawn. PP grins as she watches the animal disappear into the darkness. Will he go for a swim? she wonders? Do raccoons swim? If they don’t, they sure should since they already come equipped with their little black goggles!

Giggling to herself, she heads back to the hot tub only to find it inundated with screeching teenagers.

Damn.

No second hot tub before the pool, she sighs as she recovers her cap and water bottle from behind a scrawny 15 year old boy, his white back glowing in the dark as he ignores PP’s murmur of ‘excuse me?’ He’s way too busy sizing up the gaggle of girls all shrill in their bikinis and wet hair.

Glancing up at the golden moon one more time, PP smiles. She can remember being that age.

No actually she can’t.

Grinning, PP heads over the lawn, mud between her toes on the wet grass as the shrieks of teenage activity echo over the pool.

“How’s the water?” she asks Capt. G.
”It’s okay once you get in.”
“I am not believing you!” Black square trunked swimmer from what looks like could be the 1950’s Swedish Olympic Team asserts, shaking his head as he prepares to enter the pool. Capt. B and PP both laugh as they watch him jump in, his long strides breaking the smooth turquoise surface.

Diving in after him, PP feels the cold water wash away her day. She wasn’t gonna come tonight. But taking the next lap back, her arms cutting through the glassy water, she’s happy she did.

Grinning, PP turns and heads back down the lane, kicking fast with her fins, the moon now bigger and more magical. Damn that sounds corny, but hell, it’s true!

Now if only that raccoon would take the plunge!

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