After being closed for an entire week, PP expected Big Changes at the YMCA pool, so when she entered into the Pool Auditorium and was greeted with the overwhelming smell of fresh paint, she thought, well, guess at least the walls are whiter.

So what?

Getting into the pool, she noticed right away that the water was freezing. What’s up with that one lately? Is it just her pool karma that every pool, whether it’s the normally warm Y or the unknown Heather Farms, is out to envelop her with goosebumple chills?

PP hates hates hates being cold!

But as she jumped into the icy Y this afternoon, sharing the lane with a lounging on the side French accented guy, she thought at least I’m at the Pool! This is really what matters, right?

Yet her shoulder and neck began to ache in earnest as she pressed on in the chilly water, glancing over at the poor pretty Asian lifeguard shivering in the lane next to her teaching teeth chattering little fish. Damn! She must really be cold just standing there!

Grabbing her zoomers, PP began the back kicking segment of her workout, staring up at the glaringly white washed walls and thought, hey! Where the hell are the YMCA values? The colorful primary colors of red, blue and yellow? They painted over them?
No more CARING?
No more HONESTY?
No more what the hell was the fourth one anyway?
See what happens when Values are painted over?
The go right out the window. Or deep underwater.
And as PP looked around, sure enough she saw the loss of These Values all around her. Sure, swimmers were sharing lanes –hey was that the missing value?

Well,if this wasn't it, no matter since PP wasn’t much for sharing herself. Lanes or anything else for that matter. She’s never liked sharing. Not her living space. (She’s lived alone now for how many years? 12? 13? 15?) Not her food. (Fortunately she lives alone so she rarely hasta worry about this.) Not her cats. (Well, actually she’d share Pablo if anyone wanted to partake of him. That big white cat had plenty of catness to go around.)

And didn’t the YMCA have plenty to go around too? PP often thinks not as she sees the swimmers pile into the pool now, the after 3 O’clock time crunch beginning.

She just wants her own lane. And her own pool. And her own house. And her own owness.

She’d never survive in Communist China. But this she already knows as she takes off her zoomers and tries to fit the stupid mask to suction her face so it won’t leak.

NO, sharing is for other people, not PP, as she tosses the mask off in leaking frustration and swims a couple more cold laps to try to warm down.

But what about the other painted over Values? Are all of these lost upon her too? PP thinks, yes, with the exception of HONESTY, but only in certain circumstances did she embrace this particular one.

Like when she was super cranky and needed to vent her crabbiness about the goddamn trees being chopped down, or the landlord losing her rent check or the Stomper upstairs.

Then she was all about HONESTY—she’d yell out her anger at the top of her lungs, bang Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in C# minor as loudly and as badly as possible, write nasty irate letters to Wells Fargo Bank for charging her a $25 processing fee to stop a check that she didn’t lose!


Lordy, it’s time for a swim! she thinks to herself as the crashing tree chain saws close in on her and the Landlady pounds on the door looking for the lost rent check.

Where does everything go? How do these Values get lost? Why is it all such a mystery?

So much loss, here on Sept 11, the national day of Loss, as she closes up the computer and makes her way back to the Valueless Pool courtesy of the YMCA.

Now if only she could find her lost equilibrium?
Smiling to herself, she shrugs. If she’s gonna find this anywhere, it’ll be at the pool. Values or no values.


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