I’m putting on my shoes, tired after a difficult swim. (I’d had to swim in the walking lane and then share a lane and then the water had been just a tad chilly and my mask had leaked and my shoulders and neck hurt slightly and I was tired and….)
Yet, now swim over, I’m warm and dressed, my back to the locker room where the Ma’am hailing voice is coming from. The voice is vaguely familiar, yet doesn’t know my name. Yet, of course, there are many women here at the Hilltop YMCA that I ‘know’ but not by name. And the 'Ma'am' address? I've given up caring about this anymore. It used to make me feel, 'old'. But now, since I am old, I don't care. Maybe age does have some advantages!
In any case, today I turn and behold AIDS Breast Milk Swimmer. I’d dubbed her this years ago when she told me in all seriousness that breast milk given to AIDS patients cures the disease. Today, I doubt she remembers telling me this if I were to remind h…
“Were those your daughters out in the pool?” Penelope asks the round friendly woman who has sat down next to her in the sauna. The two sisters had been having a blast earlier while Penelope was swimming laps. In fact, the lifeguard had even gotten into the act, a rarity at the Y. Coaching the girls to swim, with commands like: "Just one more lap! C'mon, you can do it!" The girls had been game. Laughing joyously, jumping, swimming, arms flailing. Not exactly lap swimming, but then, they were just kids.
Beaming, the woman nods, “Yes. They love it! My middle daughter, she has asthma, and it’s the only thing I can get her to do.”
“I had a friend who had asthma,” Penelope responds, shifting to sit up. “She started swimming, and after awhile, it actually improved and then, finally went away. Swimming is such a great exercise.”
“That is really good to hear,” Asthma Daughter Mom sighs. “Her doctor wasn’t so sure about swimming, but my daughter needs to do something. She’s on …
“Where did you get that most excellent purple cap?” Penelope asks as she finishes tucking her hair into her ordinary Speedo cap.
“Tee hee!” The Lovely giggles, pleased. “Isn’t it great? I can’t remember exactly, but I think down at Transports on College.”
Penelope nods, remembering her former life on College Avenue. Frequenting Transports was part of this life. Yet she doesn't remember any such caps.
The Lovely I’s was vintage layered scallop. You know the type. Thick rubber with little layers of rubber leaves folding upon each other. And it was, as already mentioned, an enchanting purple hue (The Lovely I’s favorite color---Penelope knows this cause when she used to car pool to Mills with the Lovely I and picked her up at her cute house, it had lavender trim. Penelope had commented on this fanciful dress. The Lovely I had nodded, admitting proudly of how purple was her favorite color.)
So, now admiring this purple cap, Penelope is taken back to pictures of Esther Williams, swimm…