Pool Puss is trying. She really is, but when she hops out of the Geo in the pouring rain to put money in the meter and spies the rowdy ruckus of dozens of school age children heading toward the Y, she thinks:
Damn. I bet they’re all going to the pool.

Yup. They were.
15 minutes later, PP stands on the deck surveying the dismal pool options on this dreary rainy Monday. (She’d mistakenly thought that with all the rain in the early afternoon post lunch hour that the pool would be calm.)

No such luck.
Screaming kids splashing riotously in one third of the pool.
Spaced Out ‘ Water Walkers’ taking over the other third of the pool.
Leaving only 2 lap lanes available. One with an Arm Beater Splash Action. The other a Weaving Elderly Guy barely keeping afloat.

Overwhelmed Lifeguard spies PP standing miserably confused and hurries over, flaggin PP to wait a minute. Out of breath and apologetic, she rushes up to PP, “I’m so sorry. The pool is absolutely crazy right now.”
“Yeah, with all those kids. I saw them on my way in and thought, I bet they’re all headed for the pool.”
Sighing, Apologetic Lifeguard shakes her blond head, pushing aside a stray hair caught in the side of her mouth. “Yeah, I’m afraid you were right. It’s absolutely Crazy” she repeats, trying to undo a lane line.
“So, where should I swim?” PP asks, trying to smile in spite of the echoing screams.
“Well, you can split with him,” she nods toward Beater Swimmer. “But, I’m sorry you can’t swim with him,” she nods toward Weaving Elder Swimmer. “He has a Blood Condition.”

PP smiles unsure. A Blood Condition? What the hell did that mean? Especially since she’s been instructed not to share his lane. Did he leak? And if so, wouldn’t that be a reason to keep him out of the pool altogether? Or maybe his Blood got out easily. If PP happened to kick him, which was highly doubtful, usually someone kicked her, but saying it happened, that PP got in Blood Condition Swimmer’s lane and accidentally kicked him, would he start bleeding uncontrollably?

Was he a Swimming Hemophiliac?

This didn’t seem like such a good idea. Allowing a Swimming Hemophiliac in the Oakland Y’s public pool.

PP shivers (or is it shudders?) as she watches the Lifeguard bend down and start to unhook one of the lane lines, sliding it over to make a new lane where the Spaced Out Water Walkers are now getting out.

“Here, just one minute, and I’ll have this lane for you,” she huffs, as she pulls the heavy line (Why are they so heavy? PP has wondered this for years. They’re just plastic) over and hooks it onto the wall.

PP grins, happy now that she’s got her own lane, 2 over from the Hemophiliac.

Sliding on her fins, she hops into the water, warm and welcoming in its gray blueness. Zooming down the lane, she glances over as Swimming Hemophiliac taps another swimmer in the next lane on the shoulder to let him know he’s done-- he can have his lane. Then Swimming Hemophiliac climbs under the lane line into the kid mayhem. Stands at the side of the pool watching them in unabashed delight.

Well, PP thinks, at least someone likes the kids! All the same, she did hope he didn’t get brained by some rambunctious mite. Cuz if he did?

PP turns at the wall and starts to giggle to herself.
Hell, she’s not going there.
At least not now that she’s got her own lane!
Kid free. Kick free. But most of all
Hemophiliac Free!


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